El feedback en el trabajo

A new work year is beginning and it is a great opportunity to take stock, analyze the results of the period behind us and set future goals. But sometimes, team leaders and managers forget a very important practice to move forward: feedback. It is advisable for the health of the company to invest time in creating spaces to evaluate, share opinions and recognize successes.

On the one hand, it is necessary for the team to start the year knowing what its achievements have been in the previous period. The objective is to generate motivation and boost individual and collective self-esteem. On the other hand, it is essential to make a feedback of the necessary observations of the work environment (the work being done, the way it is done, etc.), with the objective of making a call to action for improvement as a final result. This is the most efficient way to move forward safely. One way to do this is with the practice of feedback wraps, which we will explain in this article. 

Positive feedback to employees is necessary

Giving positive and constructive feedback to the team is an effective tool to help them develop their skills, highlight their strengths and for them to obtain, from the company, the congratulations and trust they have earned with their daily work. Mistakenly, moments are sought to express problems, what is not correct or mistakes made by the team. However, the best performing teams are those in which feedback is continuous, giving value to the positive points and not only transferring the negative ones.

Some mistakes made by people in charge of a company, managers and directors, is to think that employees are paid for the work they do and that positive feedback is not necessary, because doing it well is their obligation. Or to think that congratulations workers decrease and that time should only be devoted to comments that involve corrections. It is a mistake to indulge in these thoughts if you want to achieve a united, satisfied, prosperous workforce, in which workers are happy with their jobs.

Giving positive feedback to employees is:
  • Congratulate them on their achievements and help them see the positive consequence of their work.
  • Recognize their qualities and express what impact these have on the team and the company.
  • Appreciate their contributions, initiative and effort.
  • Value overcoming obstacles.
  • Praise when they take risks and innovate.
  • Boosting self-confidence.
  • Value good attitude and fellowship.

Wrap feedback: an effective and constructive way to move forward

Giving job feedback is one of the best ways to move forward, continuously improving and encouraging changes. It is important to do so in order to know where we are, where we want to go and how to do it. This exercise is useful not only at the beginning of the year, it is advisable to practice it frequently. For it to be useful it is essential to do it honestly and seeking to generate an improvement in the project, in the team and in the environment.

Until now, one of the best known methods of feedback was the sandwich method, which is to establish a constructive or negative criticism between two positive comments. Another method, which is the one we will explain below, is called feedback wrap and is based on the creation of a feedback in several steps, as if preparing a wrap (or fajita). The wrap is assembled with various specific foods to obtain a tasty and nuanced flavor. To create feedback as if we were assembling a wrap, the conjunction of well-constructed elements is the key to achieve a complete feedback.

How to make a Feedback Wrap?
  1. Description of the context (the tortita): For a better understanding, start by putting the feedback in context and explain it. By providing a description of the environment, of what is involved in the issue at hand, you increase understanding and help the person or persons receiving it to empathize with you. 
  2. List of observations (the lettuce): Make a list of specific points to analyze and improve. This list does not include personal judgments about what a person did right or wrong, or about his or her capabilities. Focus on the observations and the work itself. Explain point by point without pointing fingers at anyone. These observations will be the focus of the following work.
  3. Explanation of feelings (the tomato slices): Once we have the context and observations, it is time to express what emotional connection there is to it all. Show the other person the impact it has on you and what feelings it generates in you. Explaining feelings helps to empathize, resolve misunderstandings and/or conflicts and helps to increase trust.
  4. Explanation of value (the onion and the corn): It may be that you are very clear about what the fact you are stating represents for you and that other people are not aware of it. At this point, you should explain the value it has for you. A useful tip is to rank the observations by their importance, from most to least important. This step serves to pinpoint the interests you have and check if they are in line with those of the team. 
  5. Offer suggestions for improvement (the sauce): You have the context, your observations, your feelings and courage. The time has come to make suggestions that may be useful to complete the feedback wrap. Make them concise and understandable to the team with the objective of improving work, team relationship, etc. It is important to keep in mind that the suggestions are your own and that the people receiving them may not agree. The most productive approach would be to share points of view. 

It has been shown that wrap feedback can work very well, being more structured, complete, addressing the feelings and values involved, compared to traditional sandwich feedback which can be lacking in nuance. We encourage you to put it into practice to have a good year in your company, along with positive feedback from your employees!