High-Performance Team - Building a feedback-driven culture

Mandar Kale
4 min readSep 24, 2023
Photo by Blake Wisz on Unsplash

TLDR: Feedback-driven culture is pivotal in retaining talent, improving performances, and driving winning results. If you want to improve or know more, read on!

In the knowledge industry, most of the personal development or personal growth is driven by a feedback loop from the rest of the system. There are other obvious factors like business outcomes and opportunities but even when these are present, growth happens only when there is a feedback loop.

This post is for everyone in the knowledge industry and for leaders to create this culture of being feedback-driven at every point in the system. The feedback-driven culture I am referring to here includes the people and the system.

I already wrote about performance management and goal setting in my previous posts and this post is about being more feedback-driven. Feedback is an important part of your performance management. This also helps to re-calibrate anything going wrong in the expectation setting and goal setting in performance management.

Feedback generally has a negative connotation but I will elaborate on all the types of feedback to uncover that feedback is not necessarily only negative. As you will see, two out of the three below are positive in nature. Let us go deeper.

Types of feedback

Knowingly or unknowingly, planned or unplanned, whatever it is, all the systems have the following three types of feedback.

  • Recognition feedback
  • Growth feedback
  • Performance feedback

When anyone gets feedback from the system, it can also be categorized as one of the above.

Recognition feedback

This is a positive feedback. In a common workplace, this tells you what is going well and how an individual is meeting expectations and sometimes going above the expectations. So overall a positive reinforcement to know what she needs to continue doing or do more of.

This can come from customers, peers, managers, etc.

Growth feedback

This is another positive feedback. Growth feedback is for people who are meeting the expectations of the current role and have the potential to do more. The potential could have been displayed before from the previous outcomes of the person.

Generally, this comes from the fact that — there is a bigger opportunity and the individual can do more to seek and deliver on the opportunity.

Recognition feedback and growth feedback have very fine lines as they can come together in some cases. After giving recognition feedback, a manager could give you growth feedback knowing that there is potential and opportunity both left untapped.

This can again come from a customer asking for more features or enhanced features, peers during discussions, and could come from a manager if they are close to the current outcome.

Growth feedback can open new possibilities and be directly tied to an individual’s learning and growth by the role/responsibilities.

Performance Feedback

This is the only feedback that talks about the gaps in the current role expectations and the current performance of the individual. This may sound negative or more based on the gaps but this is an important part of the process of learning and growing.

I have elaborated in my Performance Management post previously that Performance Feedback comes as a third step after expectations setting and goal setting.

Performance feedback should be quick (like a minute-long conversation) and timely. Collate all the performance feedback and deliver during the formal one-to-one setting but make sure this should not be a surprise. Performance feedback done right, can have a tremendous impact on raising the performance bar for the individual.

This has a multiplier effect as the performance bar is raised, it becomes a gold standard for others to follow, business is benefiting and on top of all the individual is feeling fulfilled.

Receiving Feedback

All these feedbacks are also applicable for everyone in the organization including leaders and managers. We have to lead by example when it comes to seeking feedback and working on the feedback. Even if you don’t mean to work on the feedback that someone provided, checking back on the feedback is extremely important. All of us need to remember, “You are not perfect, no one is!”. Receiving feedback gracefully makes you humble. Receiving feedback is another big topic in itself. Probably a topic for the future to write on.

The more we, leaders and managers lean on understanding and improving feedback, the better the culture you would be setting in your organization and driving winning results.

I hope this helps a few of my readers out there. Happy learning!

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