Creating An Empathetic Work Culture

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Feedback gets a bad rap. But you know what? Feedback can be really helpful with your team, your business, or whatever it is that you’re doing. IF you do it the right way.

As a TV producer for many years, we used feedback after every single thing we did. We had a postmortem discussion after every show. We discussed what went well, what did not go well, and what can change (or should stay the same) in the future. And then we incorporated that feedback immediately.

I know not every business can work that way, but it is important to figure out how feedback is going to function at your company so your product is at its best, your team feels involved and the environment feels open and friendly.

Here are my top three tips for making feedback better for employers and employees.


1) Feedback is NOT one-size fits all.

Everyone’s a little bit different and does things differently. And that includes receiving feedback.

Sometimes circumstances will demand giving feedback in the moment. But for the times that don’t, come up with a system.

Ask your team, “How should we do feedback?” Decide as a group if you are going to do it in the moment, in real time, or save it for a meeting at the end of the week.

And ask every individual, “How do you personally like to receive feedback?” Some people don’t mind hearing positive thoughts in a group meeting. But it makes others super embarrassed. Knowing things like this matters. You wouldn’t want to inadvertently make someone uncomfortable when your intention was to make them feel good, right?

Make sure to have these conversations with your team. It makes all the difference.
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2) Sit down for reviews more frequently.

I hope you at least have a review once a year. That would be the minimum.

(Although, as my producer Ali Keller just informed me, not necessarily the norm. She never had a review (at any of her jobs) before working with me. That’s nuts!)

Like Ali, you might not have regular reviews. If that’s the case, ask for them! Monthly or quarterly reviews are great ways to check-in and see how things are going.

If you’re looking to revamp your review process as a manager or how to start the conversation if you ask your boss for one, here’s some questions to discuss.

  • How’s the job that you’re doing?
  • Do you enjoy the tasks you’re doing?
  • What are the things you thought you would like and don’t?

Sometimes things can be taken off your plate and sometimes they can’t. But it helps to discuss potential solutions.

  • What are you interested in?
  • What are other things that you’re not necessarily doing, but you would like to do?
  • What things really light you up and make you excited?

Listening to what people are interested in can help you devise and experiment with new projects. Aligning employee interests with their tasks is how you get people to stay with your company.

Which brings me to my next tip… Listening!

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3) Really listen to each other.

If someone tells you something, listen to them.

If you’re a manager and someone comes to you about changing something and you can make that change, do it. And if you can’t, tell them why.

That’s really important because that way you’re saying, “I heard you. I understand where you’re coming from, but we can’t because of xyz reasons”. Being able to give that information back to that person is really key.

Listening to feedback about how your company is run or your management style might be hard to hear. Or you might feel bad that you can’t accommodate every request. It’s hard to always make people feel heard and say the right thing, but as long as you’re trying, be kind to yourself. (You deserve empathy too!)

It gets easier with practice, I promise. Watch the entire Inside Scoop episode about creating a culture of friendly feedback here!

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BONUS FREEBIE: Want even more ways to stay organized, productive and less stressed? Click here to get access to my List-Making Starter Kit. It will boost your efficiency and get you back to doing more of the things you love.

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