Struggling with feedback? We’ll help you do it better!

As a manager, I often find myself thinking about what makes work so interesting these days. With new trends appearing on almost a daily basis, the need to keep learning regularly to be great at what you do has become an intrinsic part of our lives. But that brings me to the question: Is learning, on its own enough? I mean, how do you know that you’re learning right if there’s no feedback about it?

One of the most important things I have learned with age is that being a good manager is no easy feat. Not only are we responsible for driving a team, it is also up to us to help employees develop their skills, motivate them, and create a positive environment at work as well. Quite the interesting challenge. Isn’t it? 

But if you think about it, you’ll realise that all of this stems from one simple thing: Feedback. 

 

Feedback for all 

 

When you think of feedback, a lot of us immediately think of the dreaded annual review that rears its head once a year just to ineffectively talk about your most recent successes or failures, your performance for the rest of the year rendering irrelevant. 

As continuous feedback makes its presence felt in the realm of Human Resources, the more we learn about it, the more we realise that apart from letting employees know how they’re performing, a good system can actually enable an organization to recognize what the employees are doing right, and what they aren’t, they can also make communication regular, seamless and flexible. 

 

How? 

 

  • The changing nature of feedback makes it more effective and efficient than older processes. 
  • Seamless communications help both employees and employers to share opinions, reviews and even prioritise tasks, as well as feedback and communication. 
  • Ease of use and simplicity encourages use as well as interaction allowing space for more collaborative efforts to come into play. 

 

More to feedback than you think

 

It was in 2009 that Mason OJ and Brady F conducted an experiment that showed us that people, when kept away from information, start exhibiting signs of anxiety that can easily be culled with easy access to the right kind of information. And feedback is no different. 

Without access to the right kind of information helping you address queries you or your employees might have about their performance at work, don’t be surprised if you suddenly see a dip in self-confidence, performance and even congeniality. 

As you can probably figure by now, there’s more to feedback than figuring out what your employees are doing right or wrong. With the right feedback system, you can also help your organization grow. And the wrong feedback system can actually make work rather stressful for you. 

 

Welcome to the idea of the Losada Ratio. 

 

Inspired by the research of John Gottman about marital studies, Marcial Losada decided to put it in action in the field of organizational psychology. By adopting Gottman’s coding methodology for business teams, Losada kept a close watch on a few teams of eight as they got busy developing business strategies. She noticed, that like Gottman’s studies, the ratio of positive communication to negative communication could actually predict how successful the team will be. The factors that were considered for this were profitability as well as evaluation from peers and managers. 

So to sum it up, the Losada ratio is the sum of the positivity in a system divided by the sum of its negativity. And the ideal ratio that corresponds to high performances are 3.0 to 6.0. 

Basically, without a fair share of positive and negative feedback, there’s not much one can do to improve employee performance or morale. 

 So do you know what to keep in mind when giving feedback to your team? 

  1. It’s important to give regular feedback 
  2. Keep in mind that only positive or only negative feedback can be detrimental for an employee’s performance 
  3. Don’t overwhelm them with a lot of feedback at a go 
  4. Have facts ready to support your statements 
  5. Don’t let your emotions blind you 
  6. Take the time to discuss feedback in detail 
  7. Don’t let indiscipline creep in
  8. Make sure the employee feels involved 
  9. Don’t hesitate to make suggestions for improvement 
  10. Remember to be SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timely

Let’s Talk OKRs

It’s that time of the year when I have to sit down, plan and figure out what we, as a team have to achieve to help a company succeed. Success, as we all know, means different things to different people. In fact, if you also take the time to ask your team what ‘success’ means to them, you’d be impressed by the number of different answers that come straight at you. I know I was! With so many opinions and ideas on the table, it’s very important for each one of us to have a clear idea of what success means to every individual project we undertake. 

That’s where OKRs come into play. 

 

What are OKRs? 

 

Welcome to the idea of Objective and Key Results, or as we know them better, OKRs. For the uninitiated, OKRs help you plan, manage and execute your goals to maximise the team’s efficiency.

When done right, they not only help organizations achieve success in their terms, it also helps establish measurable data that is easy to access, understand and share not just within the company, but externally too. 

 

How do OKRs help you? 

 

Knowing what you have to do is a part of every job. But having robust OKRs in place can be beneficial. Here’s how it helps you: 

 

  • Be more agile 
  • Align and collaborate across functions and teams 
  • Be more efficient and thereby save more time 
  • Communicate better 
  • Engage employees 
  • Focus on accountability 
  • Be disciplined and achieve even smaller, more ‘boring goals 

 

Making a difference to your OKRs 

 

The changes that are taking workplaces by storm have taught us quite a few things. But one of the most important lessons has been: consistent evolution. With rapid changes coming our way at an alarming pace, it’s only when you embrace and adapt to them that your company can truly evolve as a workplace of the future. In the world of OKRs, this very change is what is encouraging us to focus on numbers. Additionally, we’re learning to observe and assess the performance drivers like activity levels, process, method, aptitude, and attitude. 

 

Activity Levels

 

Sometimes working smart is what you need to do, and sometimes, only good old hard work can save the day. Activity levels help teams understand who the key all-rounders are. 

 

Process

 

Thorough understanding of processes not only means better output, it also means a greater chance of converting potential customers into loyal ones. 

 

Method

 

Each team rock star has a few work related secrets up their sleeves. These secrets are usually foolproof as they are methods born out of experience as well as application of skill and knowledge. 

 

Aptitude

 

Knowing a product is never enough. Along with sound knowledge of the product, it is important to have a good understanding of the industry, strengths of the organizations, how their competition is faring and its impact on their markets. 

 

Attitude

 

While sales cycles can be unreliable, it is not recommended that attitudes follow that lead. A positive outlook coupled with creative communication allows clients to respect your positions as industry leaders. 

With Dockabl you can switch to a more continuous and realistic way of working by adopting our ‘OKRs’ Module by staying connected with your team on important goals & co-creating successful outcomes. The platform allows you to set up and delegate goals very easily and seamlessly. 

Additionally it makes room for week-on-week execution while keeping an eye on your long & short term strategy. It also helps you update progress on objectives & key result areas via the on-going check-in feature. Lastly, managing people & resources real-time by keeping the lines of communication always open becomes a cakewalk with Dockabl!

Want to up your sales performance management game? Here are 5 simple ways you can!

The new year is finally here. And along with it, it has ushered in 365 brand new days of new chances to learn and evolve. But life would be terrible if it was all sunshine and smiles? Wouldn’t it? Which is why, along with new opportunities there are a whole lot of challenges the new year has in store for us. Challenges in the form of new projects, targets, deliverables and deadlines. 

Whether you want to admit it or not, coming back after a sweet year end break doesn’t make getting acquainted with brand new targets any easier. If anything, it can be overwhelming for many. Which is probably why I found myself wondering how to make life in the new year a little easier and a lot smarter in 2020. After all, if you think about it, that’s rather imperative for any company’s success. 

But before you start planning how to reap the benefits of your success, it’s time to figure if you really have the right performance management strategies in place. 

 

Do you have the right team in place? 

 

So you’ve hired someone who seems like the perfect fit for your team. But does that mean they can’t be good at anything else? Thanks to flawed hiring as well as evaluation processes, very often you come across someone who is visibly better at things than the role they were hired for. Dockabl can not only help you track how your team is faring, but also allows you to recognise hidden talents that could have otherwise been overlooked easily. 

 

Is your team learning on the job? 

 

The pace at which work is changing, it is safe to say that learning is no longer restricted to universities and educational institutions. With so many trends and tools being introduced on a daily basis, there is little one can do apart from learn on the job. While learning on the job isn’t that intimidating thanks to robust online courses and educational videos, knowing if you’re learning right can be quite the challenge. With Dockabl you can easily provide feedback based on the performance of your team members, positive or even negative, motivating them to do better. 

 

Is your team motivated enough? 

 

In the past, monetary benefits and gift vouchers went a long way in terms of motivating employees. But with the changing ways of workplaces, things aren’t that simple anymore. Starting with relevant real-time feedback, and including advanced training programs, rewards to motivate employees have become rather diverse. But one of the simplest things that work wonders is the act of recognising a job well done. Thanks to Dockabl, cheering the stars of your team is easier than it was. 

 

Do celebrations feature on your calendars? 

 

While doing the best you can at work is what each of us is expected to do, it makes a huge difference if you take the time to celebrate successes, no matter how insignificant they might seem to be. Since going out to celebrate is something most teams reserve for those really special occasions, we at Dockabl decided to help you celebrate online with just a little click. 

 

Are you communicating well? 

 

In the new year, communication is key to every successful project. When you have a robust communication system in place, not only do you get the opportunity to navigate through projects – big and small – more easily, you also get the chance to align your employees with the core values of the company, guiding them towards success that is in sync with the company’s. With Dockabl’s easy-to-use interface, communication becomes faster, simpler and more effective, helping you to save time and focus on things that really matter.