Continuous Feedback: What Is It and Its Benefits

Previously, managers would meet their employees once a year for their performance reviews. Or vice versa where the employees meet their managers once a year or half-yearly. But this was not effective in improving employee performance. As a manager, you are most likely to forget what your employee did throughout the year, and your reviews may be clouded by recency bias. Additionally, your employees will not get to know what they did right or what they did wrong. To avoid this, organizations have shifted from traditional performance reviews to a continuous feedback approach.

What is Continuous Feedback?

Continuous feedback is the process of sharing regular feedback with employees. Regular and timely feedback helps in understanding the strengths and weaknesses of employees and provides them with the opportunity to improve their performance. This systematic approach creates feedback culture in the organization.

Also read: 10 Best Employee Feedback Tools To Track Performance

The continuous feedback model can help an organization improve performance in tandem with engagement.

Improved engagement

Straight away, one of the biggest improvements that can be seen with a culture of continuous feedback is an increase in engagement. There are plenty of statistics that point towards employees being unhappy with the amount of feedback they are receiving. And when they do receive meaningful feedback, they do agree that it helps them work better. Have a gander at a few statistics with regard to feedback:

  • 27% strongly agree the feedback they receive helps them do their work better.
  • Gallup found that only 21% of millennials and 18% of non-millennials meet with their manager on a weekly basis. The majority of employees say they meet with their manager as infrequently as less than once a month (56% of millennials and 53% of non-millennials).

We all would like to be valued at work. Meaningful and continuous feedback fulfills that desire. Employees believe the work they are doing aligns with the organization or, they will ensure their work aligns with the organization’s end goals and objectives.

Continuous feedback benefits for employees

Feedback at a regular interval isn’t something that is just reserved for a certain breed of employees. Constructive feedback is for everyone. It can help struggling employees improve, it can help good employees become better and it might even help struggling employees figure out they are suited for different job roles.

The idea behind this type of feedback is to consistently suggest improvements and refinements that help the employee. They need not always have to be criticisms or praise. They just need to offer the employee food for thought as they continue working on their project. And with the work that we do always being dynamic, there’s always something to share in terms of feedback. Mind you, this principle cannot be applied to all kinds of work. For example, automatic machine work has already been refined to the highest level possible.

Also read: 10 Best Employee Feedback Tools To Track Performance

Decreases attrition

When employees receive insufficient feedback, what happens? They leave. A lack of constructive feedback is reason enough for employees to change job. It is also important to note the difference between feedback and constructive and meaningful feedback. Feedback can mean anything, even noise. On the other hand, constructive feedback not only takes into account the person receiving the feedback, but also their skills and competency and the work they are doing.

Increased productivity

When there’s consistent feedback to rely on, there’s always room for improvement. There’s also the desire to improve not only upon performance but also productivity. Continuous feedback motivates us in more ways than one. Sometimes, feedback is the push most of us need to try a new approach or to keep going on what is a difficult path. Feedback eases the way because then employees are secure in the knowledge that their manager is paying attention to their work and is invested in what they do.

Provides an accurate account of employee performance

Do you which factor can have a marked impact on performance reviews? Documented feedback. It helps in identifying trajectory of performance and acts as a reference. That is, it provides a representation of an employee’s work over a period of time. It is possible to see where an employee faltered, or where they improved or alternatively, where they stagnated, thereby needing a new challenge. Regular feedback makes the performance review process a whole lot easier. Even if you were to only have an annual review, continuous feedback makes it easy to make performance-related decisions.

Also read: Here’s Why Your Employee Rewards and Recognition Fails

Continuous feedback performance management is revolutionizing the business world. It provides a holistic approach to keeping tabs on employee productivity and offers actionable insights to overcome challenges. We hope this article has helped you learn about the importance of continuous feedback. Tell us in the comments, how your organization is utilizing Continuous feedback performance management in the current business environment.

Learning and Development


Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. How does continuous feedback help?

Ans. Continuous feedback helps in the following way:

  • Improves employee morale
  • Enhances employee productivity
  • Improves employee engagement
  • Drives employee growth

Q2. How do you give continuous feedback?

Ans. The following methods can be used in providing continuous feedback:

  • Effective goal setting
  • Regular check-ins
  • 360 Degree feedback

Q3. What are the benefits of continuous feedback to employees?

Ans. Continuous feedback helps employees in the following ways:

  • Provides opportunities for learning and development
  • Improves employee efficiency
  • Drives career growth

 


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People Development Goes Virtual and More Feedback Focused

2020 has taught us many things. But most importantly, it has made us realise the power of technological advancement and digitization. In our previous edition, we brought to you details on how Performance Management has Gone Virtual and More Progressive. In this edition, we will discuss people development and employee feedback in the post pandemic era. 

While technology and digitization has allowed us to continue working through the pandemic period, what about learning and reskilling? Your employees require learning and development too, especially in today’s day and age. So with the transition to remote work and organizations’ inability to conduct in-person training, we anticipated an increase in virtual and technology-driven learning and development

We decided to conduct a survey to understand the situation better and bring to you information that will help you enhance employee engagement and learning. 

To assess the extent of the changes COVID has brought upon us, we reached out to leaders and HR heads. They were asked to report the degree of change for different people development processes by reporting whether or not each of the development related processes was occurring more or less frequently during COVID. They responded on a five point scale (1= significantly less frequent and 5 = significantly more frequent)

We focused the questions on the following people development processes: 

  • Online Training from External Content Providers 
  • Online Training from Internal Content Providers 
  • Live Online Training from Internal Teams 
  • Live Online Training from External Content Providers 
  • Ongoing Feedback 
  • Developmental Assessment(s) (i.e. 360, Personality, etc.) 

Guess what we found?

The changes in people development was more pronounced than the changes in Performance Management Processes. Over 50% responses indicate that they took part in all 5 of the people development processes that were assessed in more frequency. Moreso, Online Training from Internal Content Providers, reported the largest change with 69.1% of leaders reporting that this was occurring more frequently now. 

This was followed by Live Online Training from Internal Teams, Online Training from External Content Providers, Ongoing Feedback, Live Online Training from External Content Providers, and Developmental Assessment(s) (i.e. 360, Personality, etc.), respectively. This explains the recent uptick in employee development training vendors growth across the entire spectrum. We then took to assess if the leaders are satisfied with these changes and expect these changes to continue.

Here is what we found: 

Answer to Research Paper survey

Key takeaways for you:

As learning and development technologies and approaches have evolved to take on more virtual and real time feedback (on the job development), COVID has acted as an accelerant to these changes as anticipated. While organizations are actively embracing learning technologies and more progressive approaches to development like Real Time Feedback and Coaching, it remains to be seen if this is here to stay. Given the level of satisfaction with remote work changes, the future work environment may embrace a hybrid model (remote and in office), so we anticipate many of these shifts will be permanent.

Want to view the detailed report? Click here.


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How To Give Constructive Feedback In The Workplace?

In a workplace, feedback plays a vital role. It is immeasurably powerful because it can change the course of things, make someone work harder; improve a product or a software. Without feedback, we’d be blind to faults, be they in ourselves, our products or our views.

Continue reading “How To Give Constructive Feedback In The Workplace?”