Creating, maintaining a culture of feedback is key to ensuring a healthy, productive workplace. You can take the lead.
What do most successful organizations that attract and keep good people have in common? Many experts agree that they share a culture of feedback where employees are encouraged to share ideas, talk honestly about what works and what doesn’t, and take an active role in change and innovation.
To create and maintain a healthy culture of feedback, consider these steps:
· Establish a feedback routine. Don’t just wait for employees to share their thoughts. Seek their input about organizational activities, changes, decisions, and plans through polling and surveys. Establish a means by which employees can email or message with ideas, comments, and suggestions. Consider holding a monthly “feedback challenge,” where you ask employees for their ideas or solutions to a specific problem or question.
· Listen and respond. Employees need to know that you actually care about their input, so find a way to show them that you’re listening and using their input. Acknowledge good ideas at meetings and staff events. For example, recognize caregivers who help identify a resident’s acute condition change or solve a behavioral issue.
· Act and communicate. For instance, send out a regular email or other communication with results of polling and surveys. If you asked staff to weigh in on a pending change or innovation, update them on progress and how their input has impacted decisions.
This culture needs to start at the top, so you need consistent buy-in from administrators, clinical leaders, and department heads. Encourage them to be open to constructive feedback and acknowledge team members with good ideas. Showing that they welcome suggestions—even when they don’t always agree—gives employees the confidence to speak out and makes them feel like their ideas matter.
Encourage team leaders and others to practice their feedback skills. For instance, offer workshops or inservice programs on the topic, or include feedback exercises as part of staff or quality improvement meetings.
A healthy culture of feedback enables positive change, innovative, and progress while fostering trust. When employees feel valued and engaged, they are more likely to contribute to growing the organization and less likely to seek employment elsewhere.