All I Want for Christmas is Some Feedback


Feedback, feedback, feedback. Sound familiar? Except it is not just for Christmas or any other holiday; feedback is something employees and team members are demanding more and more on any day.

Point the finger at overly-involved parents and school and sports programs that provide feedback constantly to the younger generations in our workforce. And only positive feedback some might add! This sea change to more feedback is not simply a cry from the younger generation. It reflects a change in the way all of us view our relationship with that thing called work.

To understand the shift, look at how leadership in the workplace has transitioned. A command and control leadership style originated from the armed forces and did not necessitate feedback. Do as I say and anything else is insubordination or a failure to fulfill the requirements of the position. That works when tasks and roles are clearly defined as in a job on an assembly line or stamping out direct mail marketing pieces.

We are now an economy of knowledge workers, using the grey matter between the ears, to create, drive and imagine ways of doing things that serve an ever-increasing demand for personalized products, messages and services. There is no one way or “right” way to do this and the focus is on company purpose, mission and service.

This creates the need for more opportunities to check in and get feedback to be sure our actions are in-line with that purpose, mission and service vision of the organization. And that can be a moving target based on the ever-changing client experience.

We all need to be in this space where we provide and accept feedback. Where we are willing to say, “I’m not sure” and create a space where experimentation and its consequences, including failure, are all part of the feedback AND development process.

I am adding feedback to my Christmas wish list – to give and receive. Ready to give or receive?

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