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How HR can build a feedback culture with remote teams during COVID-19?

How HR can build a feedback culture (Delivering Constructive Feedback) with remote teams, Without Sinking Employee Morale during the COVID-19…

By Shobha Singh , in Blog Human Resource Management , at September 21, 2020

How HR can build a feedback culture (Delivering Constructive Feedback) with remote teams, Without Sinking Employee Morale during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Employee feedback is a powerful tool. If offered appropriately, it has the ability to develop and improve the trust level and communication, and reinforce the bond within the team.

As the world is adjusting to the COVID-19 pandemic, most of the employees are working remotely. Digital communication is playing a vital role in our everyday interactions. It makes us rethink how to work effectively with the teams remotely-including how to deliver constructive feedback?

Consistent feedback is critical to the success of any team. 40% of employees are actively disengaged when they don’t receive feedback. It must be delivered in the right way at the right time to be effective.

Working from home for an extended period of time is beneficial, but it can be stressful as well. The best solution is to stay connected and coordinated with each other as much as possible.

Follow these tips to build a great constructive feedback culture and make sure you are moving the needle, even the team is working remotely.

1.  Set-up standard time for 1-on-1 meeting (Preferable video call) – setting up 1-on-1 and making them regular will do wonder for employee engagement and tracking their progress. Better to have a set of predefined questions to understand his/her expectation, worries, and the help or support which is required to do the job. Make sure to encourage your team weekly when they are working remotely. And daily with team leads and peers.

 

2.  Create a positive feedback culture – Make sure to provide positive feedback to your remote team members regularly and encourage them to celebrate success virtually. By doing this we create a habit of sharing praise with each other. To do this we create a Slack integration that allows our team to share positive feedback on a dedicated slack channel. We have seen that the more people received praise notifications on the slack channels, the more likely they share praise with others. This helps to create positive feedback culture within the organization.

 

3.  Be aligned with Objectives and Key Results (OKR) and track progress – while working remotely, managers and teams need to communicate very frequently to understand who’s been working on what, so a person can pinpoint the bottlenecks and share progress updates. This will ensure everyone owns their accountability and feels a shared sense of purpose. Staying on top of objectives is one of the best ways to support performance and keep the team moving in the right direction. Even though employees might not be in the same place, that doesn’t mean that their professional development should seize either. Make sure to continue setting and tracking personal development goals as well as business ones. 

4.  Educate team members on how to frame their feedback – request them to use the coin feedback model – first, establish the context of ensuring the employee understands the background you wish to discuss. Then describe your observation truthfully in a natural way and the impact on the team. Finally, tell the next steps that create accountability and follow up. While delivering feedback, focus on a person’s behavior and his/her actions, not the person. State the specific action or behavior, what did you hear or see? Why it is important to change? Next time they are faced with a similar issue, what do you want to see? Managers and HR teams make sure that all feedback is free of an individual’s opinion. It is constructive in a way where specifics are included and employee is given a fair chance to improve. 

5.  Set up regular 360-degree feedback – Once your team is comfortable with sharing great feedback, it’s important that you encourage them to share feedback with each other on a regular basis. Communication is one of the vital keys to creating an effective team remotely.

 

6.  Employee engagement – make sure to track employee engagement. Working from a distance can disturb teams and individuals. Disconnecting from what’s going on in the company and even in one’s team is a real possibility. Keep a finger on the pulse of remote team engagement. Encourage regular check-ins and conduct engagement surveys.

Effective feedback in a remote workplace can make a difference in the success of your remote employees. Providing consistent and full communication will keep them on task as well as productive and inspired. The more precise your communication, the more successful your message will be. So, pick up the phone and open your virtual office access. Let the channels of good communication flow and reap the benefits of a productive remote workplace.

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