Regular and ongoing Employee feedback matters – even if Employees have to go out and get it.
There are cool things about being a Trainer. And some pretty intense things about being a Trainer.
And sometimes, in the Venn Diagram version of the job, those two things overlap.
For example, when it comes to regular and ongoing feedback.
Every week, typically 2 – 3 times per week, a group of smart professional folks evaluate my work and give me feedback.
How much feedback has that been?
Using 2 workshop sessions per week x an average of 10 folks per workshop x 40 training weeks a year x 20 years of training and that works out to be 800 individual feedback reports a year or 16,000 feedback reports over the 20 years I’ve been teaching.
Excluding university classes, speeches, Emcee duties and keynotes.
And what does all this feedback mean?
It means that I’m up to date, on a regular basis, as to what’s going well, what could be improved, what’s ‘irrelevant’ (some is) and what actions I need to take – both short term & long term.
If I want great ‘scores’ and feedback I have to do something with it. Otherwise, I’d have been out of business long ago.
There are obvious parallels with what I’m describing here and the role of Voice of Customer.
But my purpose in writing this isn’t to explore those parallels.
It’s to share how important getting regular ongoing feedback at work is – no matter what you do and no matter where you work.
And how important it is to get regular Employee feedback even if you have to go out and get it yourself.
Regular Employee feedback – my old Corporate life
In my old life in the Corporate world, my boss(es) would perhaps 1x or 2x per year take me out to a nice lunch.
And at that lunch they’d either skirt around a few issues in between courses or now and then shoot straight between the eyes as to what I needed to do better (usually after dessert was served).
They were almost always very uncomfortable. It showed – despite the fact they were all CEOs, VPs or Business Owners.
And for me, it felt like there wasn’t enough regular Employee feedback, or userful Employee feedback, to make concerted changes or develop myself.
I often found myself trying to read between the lines to see how I could be better.
Pretend everyone is an external Client
When you serve external (vs. internal) Clients you’re automatically in the feedback headlights. Over the 15 years or so that I employed Client Service Managers I found that most of them grew dramatically.
Invariably they told me it was because of the regular ongoing feedback they received from Clients – and that to succeed in the job required a lot more attention to external feedback.
Especially as compared to ‘old’ jobs – which were mostly in the Corporate world.
The realized that in their old jobs they could work for months with little or no developmental feedback from their bosses.
But Clients – who were paying for our services – never held back on how they felt.
So what’s my point
No matter if you’re working with internal or external Clients. No matter what it is that you do.
Go out there and ask others how you’re doing and what you can do better. Be proactive and fierce about it.
Don’t wait for the sometimes antiquated performance review process to guide you – that may come too little, too late.
And as painful as it can be, take (most) of that feedback seriously. Because there’s wisdom in it.
For me I knew I was always a good communicator. It’s a personal strength.
But remember those 16,000 individual feedback forms I had to wade through?Gosh they helped.
Thank you for reading!