Spark an Appetite for Feedback in Your Culture

It is critical for a company’s culture to be supported by the HR cycle — but not defined by it.

In a fireside chat at Reflektive’s inaugural Illuminate conference by people leaders, for people leaders, Sean Duffy and Jo Dennis of Omada Health — the leader in digital behavioral medicine — discussed sparking an appetite for feedback in your culture.

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Both Duffy and Dennis agree that feedback is the company’s constant source of growth. It challenges everyone to improve and strive for greatness, a place they believe everyone can get to with the proper support. Omada’s own feedback process has been an iterative journey. After beginning with anonymous feedback, they realized anonymity was not conducive to the organization.

“We’ve found that feedback is best when not anonymous,” said Dennis. “Taking ownership of feedback gives employees the keys to the kingdom, limits confusion and provides context to those who are tasked with addressing feedback.”

Omada’s tips and tricks for implementing a feedback culture at your company include the following:

  1. Clarify expectations clearly and quickly

Define what “great” looks like across roles and outline how to get there.

  1. Don’t assume — check!

Ensure written feedback aligns with spoken feedback, and ask respondents if they felt comfortable answering questions honestly. Strive for specificity when possible to reduce confusion.

  1. Soothe the amygdala

Providing many ways to give and receive feedback will increase comfort in doing so and help reduce natural biases. Find ways to open everyone up to and support real conversations beyond the feedback cycle. While It’s not always easy to give or receive feedback, it does get better with practice.

  1. Encourage real time feedback

Feedback is subject to decay; it’s better in the moment vs. months later.

  1. One size fits no one

The only right answer when it comes to feedback in your organization is what works for you and your employees. Feedback also doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

See more from Illuminate here.