The Feedback Culture

Arnold Insights series

Feedback is an integral part of performance management and personal development. Numerous studies have already confirmed a direct correlation between feedback and self-improvement. Feedback is most often provided by direct supervisors. Whether their feedback will serve as a useful tool for their team largely depends on how they deliver it. 

The important question organizations need to ask is:  

How well are your managers able to provide feedback?

We analyzed the answers collected by Arnold in 2020 and learned the following:

💡 11% of employees are getting zero feedback

On average, every tenth employee is not getting any feedback at all. This is surprising, given the importance of feedback for aligning your work with the company’s objectives, understanding the value of your work and feeling good about your job. We think that 11% of employees can perform much better if they receive regular feedback on their performance at work.

💡 Only 69% of employees are getting useful feedback

We asked the remaining 89% of employees who receive at least some form of feedback about the usefulness of the feedback they receive. One third (31%) of them say their feedback is “usually not useful”. We see a huge room for improvement here – either by training managers to provide more useful feedback, or by introducing other sources of feedback. This may be challenging in times of quarantines and remote work, but with proper approach and tools, any organization can do better than 69%.

💡 4% of managers provide embarrassing feedback

We were also looking for signs of dysfunctional feedback. Beside low usefulness, the inappropriate form of feedback proved to be an issue. It has never been popular to tell people they have failed at something, but every message can be delivered in a hundred possible ways. We are not suggesting to use the sandwich method at all times (which is very 90’s, anyway), but rather to make sure your employees do not get their feelings hurt when receiving negative feedback. 4% of managers leave their employees feeling embarrassed. Such feedback will likely cause low feedback acceptance, and result in a wasted learning opportunity and a decline in the engagement rate.

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Arnold is a chatbot-based employee survey tool talking to thousands of employees every week.

 
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