The Importance of Feedback in Decision-Making
We all know that feedback is one of the most important components when it comes to communication, decision-making, and effective learning. Not only does feedback improve confidence, but it also motivates the subject to learn, therefore ultimately enhancing the subject’s attainment. Research also shows that 65% of employees want more feedback on their behalf from their superiors and supervisors. Feedback can be delivered regularly, in isolated instances alone, or episodically. So what exactly is the importance of feedback in a work environment, and how does feedback affect our decision-making process as employers/employees?
What is Feedback?
Before diving in the good stuff and explaining why feedback is important, it is first necessary to define the term feedback on a ground level. Feedback is used to describe helpful criticism or positive information about prior behavior or actions from an individual. Feedback aims to be communicated to another individual or a group of individuals who are supposed to use this information to adjust and improve their current status. Feedback usually occurs when an environment reacts to certain sets of behaviors or actions that have taken place. For instance, “customer feedback” is the consumers’ reaction to a certain brand’s products and services, while “employee performance feedback” can be defined as the employees’ take on their manager – or vice versa. Feedback consists of exchanging information that involves both performances exhibited and performances expected in the future.
Being the constructive element of communication that it is, feedback can benefit almost anyone and everyone; when provided and received under certain guidelines and preferred circumstances. Both common sense and research clearly show that feedback helps to improve and enhance in a positive direction, be it an individual, a group of people, businesses, companies, or any other organization. The importance of feedback in each scenario is that it can be used to make better and informed decisions, which is exactly what we will be focusing on in this post. Feedback is the most shaping way to build and maintain professional communication between colleagues and make sound decisions accordingly.
The Benefits & Importance of Feedback in the Workplace
Let’s take a closer look at the importance of feedback in communication and how it may influence our professional lives:
- Feedback keeps everyone on track: This is especially helpful for each and everyone involved in any type of group activity such as a business project or planning a formal event.
- Feedback helps a group avoid making critical errors: Feedback saves the individuals the time of correcting someone else’s work by creating an honest and clear communication flow before, during, and after any type of teamwork. This drastically reduces mistakes caused by miscommunication and prevents regrets of those who feel like they have fallen short.
- Feedback helps form better relationships within a team: This is especially crucial when it comes to importance of feedback in decision-making. As long as team members form honest and trustworthy relationships, the constructive criticism they give each other strengthens their ability to make better and faster decisions. When given in the right way, feedback can help individuals and teams evolve.
- Feedback motivates people: Again, constructive and proportionate feedback works well in professional circumstances more than you know. Not only can you help others realize what they might be doing wrong, but you can also allow them to use this criticism as a piece of advice instead of harsh judgment or faultfinding. Making your employees feel you believe in them will make them even more motivated to do a better job and will help them reach the project’s goal sooner – not to mention more effectively.
- It promotes both professional and personal growth: Although we have been mostly going about feedback in professional terms, it is no secret that any kind of feedback given in the right manner and dosage can also help the individual grow on a personal level. Since feedback is about listening actively and taking time to analyze, it ultimately becomes a strong tool in bringing people together, creating a healthy communication flow, and allowing us to see how people can change to enhance their results and outcomes.
- It creates a friendly and respectful work environment. An urge to seek immediate feedback and openness to criticism are some of the most critically important assets of being a textbook team player. We have all witnessed how the best ideas come from someone on the team who points out a simple solution to a problem or just mentions an issue that the others haven’t paid attention to.
- It produces direct business-related benefits: Making more sales, saving money, business growth, completing projects on time, positive changes in finances, and stronger customer relationships are just some of the few benefits that professional feedback provides. So what is the importance of feedback in decision-making, yok ask? Let’s take a closer look.
The Importance of Feedback in a Decision-Making
When discussing why feedback is so important, it is essential to take a closer look at the impact of feedback on our decision-making process. The power of positive feedback comes from the fact that it can alter certain actions and lets the person on the receiving end gain a realistic perspective on his actions. This is exactly why feedback can be defined as “constructive” only when it focuses on the work and actions of the individual; not the characteristic and personal qualities of the individual himself. As long as the feedback is descriptive rather than evaluative, it will bring a positive impact on the decision-making process as well. Feedback is essential at the workplace because;
- It motivates employees to do a better job, therefore make better decisions, by making them feel valued and evaluated – correctly and regularly, of course.
- Although feedback is neither advice nor criticism, it can sometimes be interpreted as negative when formulated incorrectly. It is important to explain the importance of feedback in both the communication and decision-making process. This way, employees can use descriptive and consistent feedback to improve their efficiency at work and minimize the risk of them making wrong or counterproductive decisions.
- Feedback encourages active listening by paving the way for transparent and honest communication between team members. Thus, employees must not only be fully honest but also have to pay attention to the information they are receiving. It is always better to provide and receive feedback face-to-face since it allows employees to ask further questions about their improvement timeline. Employees who soak up formative and positive feedback are bound to lead a much more healthy and proper decision-making process than those who completely isolate themselves from any type of criticism.