Managing feedback about the organisation is a big HR challenge, according to an article by Claire Schmidt that we featured in a recent edition of our newsletter. People are reluctant to give feedback about wrongdoing or inefficiencies for fear of retribution, or perhaps because they feel it is not worthwhile as no one will listen. One conclusion of the article is that offering more feedback options, such as apps and online platforms, will help.

This article reminded me of a blog I wrote some time ago emphasising that every employee should have the right to feedback. I would extend this to say that every employee should have the right to give feedback to their managers and to their boards about organisational matters. Giving feedback of all kinds and in all directions in the organisation so that it becomes ‘how we do things around here,’ is the key not just to raising individual employee engagement and performance but to that of the organisation also.

Too often, feedback about the organisation, as well as feedback given to individuals, draws out the negative. Too often feedback processes point people towards the negatives. My mantra has long been that if you want honest feedback about the negatives, concentrate on pointing out the positives. Negative organisational feedback is more likely to be given where the organisational climate is positive. Then people feel more secure about discussing what is not right, or what can be improved.

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©Janice Caplan 2020