2019/07/18

Appreciative Feedback Culture

This is RatePay | Reading time - 3 min

The war for talents is on what feels like everyone’s lips and companies are not only puzzling their heads over how to find new talents but also how to keep their employees happy and engaged. Regarding the latter, a good and lasting company culture is one piece of the puzzle. To us, feedback is an essential part of our company culture and our values – and important for continuous learning. Everybody needs feedback to know their areas of improvement to unlock your true potential.

What Feedback Means to Us

Our goal is to establish a common understanding throughout the company for giving and receiving feedback. We define feedback as the mutual exchange of observation and their effects. Regarding feedback, to us there is no “right” or “wrong”. It is a gift. Someone reveals to me aspects about myself and the impression I make on others which I was unaware of, i.e. my blind spots. This helps to understand others and ourselves better, to ease cooperation and to support continuous learning.

Our Feedback Toolbox

To make our common understanding on giving and receiving feedback more tangible for everyone and, therefore, we created the “Feedback Toolbox” for all leaders, employees and colleagues. The toolbox differentiates four different kinds of feedback.

Our feedback manual

Our leaders use our structured feedback questionnaire for their quarterly feedback talks. The questionnaire makes it possible to reflect and evaluate the aspects a) general feedback, b) expectations and development based on two sets of specific dimensions: The team dimensions cover the aspects, i.e. skills and characteristics most important to perform well in one’s role. The “I as part of RatePAY”-dimensions help the employee to give feedback to their leader on how happy they are in their job and about their development. The section on short and long-term goals and steps how to get there complete the questionnaire. A guideline for the questionnaire itself as well as a guideline for conducting feedback talks accompany the feedback questionnaire.

We also encourage esteeming peer-to-peer feedback that helps us to uncover our blind spots. Here, we always have to keep in mind that our perceptions are subjective and only an offer we make to a colleague. That is why we make a difference between observation, interpretation, personal sensibility and one’s personal wish towards the other person. When we give feedback, we tell the receiver what we have observed, which impression it left on others or us and what we wish for in the future. The receiver gives thanks for the new information they got about themselves and decides how to act on the feedback.

Moreover, our employees received three different feedback badges. One to express appreciation for great teamwork, one for an amazing performance and one for a genius idea. The feedback badges support the exchange of positive feedback within and across teams in a playful way and strengthen our positive feedback culture sustainably. Each badge is accompanied by a small card that gives room for a few written words expressing your appreciation.

Once per year, we ask our employees for their honest opinion via an anonymous online engagement survey. The survey offers the possibility to ask all of our employees at the same time, encourage participation and get structured results very quickly.

Why We Use a Variety of Feedback Tools

In conclusion, feedback offers the chance to express appreciation among colleagues. This in turn strengthens the employees’ motivation. When the feedback culture works out as planned, wellbeing increases and the bond between the company and the employee is getting stronger. At RatePAY, we see happy and engaged employees as our most valuable asset to be successful and to be perceived as an attractive employer. Employees who enjoy working for the company will pass on this feeling towards customers and recommend us as a great place to work.

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