Addressing the Feedback Gap

Photo of text Bridge Gap

Photo of text Bridge GapNow that we are 4 months into the global pandemic, most of us have settled into a rhythm with our new working situation. We’ve adapted to new rules, become more flexible, and adjusted to the ongoing level of uncertainty. As we become more comfortable and settle into a new routine, it becomes increasingly important to ensure our new workplace behaviors are still effective.

Now more than ever, we’re likely missing opportunities for real-time feedback as a result of working in a fully remote environment. We’re communicating in shorter bursts and in ways that don’t lend themselves to open conversations for feedback. Additionally, employees are hungry for reassurance that their jobs are secure, and that their performance is meeting expectations. This is a great time to institute (or revive) your 360-degree feedback process.

Gathering formal feedback is crucial at a time when we’re all working together vertically and laterally in new ways. Soliciting feedback through a 360-degree assessment is a great way to receive a well-rounded perspective from key team members. It’s also an effective mid-year data point to ensure individuals are aligned with key business objectives and working together effectively.

But as you dust off your previous 360-degree assessment and prepare it for release, it’s important to evaluate the behavioral statements in the context of our newly remote workplace experience. Are there ways you can adjust specific items to gather feedback more explicitly related to the current workplace design?

As with any 360-degree feedback, providing an effective debrief and coaching conversation is critical to a positive feedback experience. When giving feedback at this time, it’s particularly important to be mindful of your employee’s emotional state. We’re in the middle of a pandemic with organizations issuing lay-off and furlough notices frequently. Be transparent about the intent of the 360-degree feedback and focus on the benefit of personal development. These are unusual times, so this 360-feedback should be evaluated in the context of the extreme stress and disruption experienced over the past 4 months.

Implementing a 360-degree feedback process that includes an effective debrief is a great way to provide clarity and direction at a time of extreme uncertainty. Celebrate the positive feedback, and help your employees prioritize their self-development needs given the current workplace design.