Virtual feedback is elementary for the successful collaboration of a remote team. Regular, appreciative feedback motivates and moves your employees forward. A satisfied team is more productive and efficient, which contributes to the success of your company.
How can feedback discussions between management, department heads, team leaders and team members best succeed in times of remote work and home office? Here are some best practices to consider.
In a remote working team, recognition and feedback are more important than ever. While brief feedback and exchanges often come naturally when working on-site or in a shared office, they must be explicitly addressed when working together virtually. The good news is that you can easily integrate virtual feedback into your daily work routine. By doing so, you create more trust and strengthen teamwork. Employees who receive recognition and constructive feedback are happier and more productive.
Establish an enriching feedback culture
Open and honest communication is key to successful collaboration in a company. Appreciative feedback creates a healthy dynamic and bond within the team. Make sure your employees feel comfortable through the feedback process and that each team member is valued. Deal with mistakes and problems constructively and establish a solution-oriented feedback model.
Tips for successful virtual feedback
These tips can help you create a positive virtual feedback culture in your organization:
Choose the appropriate time Always make sure the time and setting are right for the conversation. If possible, suggest multiple dates for a virtual feedback conversation. Make sure that both your employees and yourself will have the necessary time and peace of mind at the time. Do not share important virtual feedback in stressful situations. Also, consider your team member’s personal situation. Is your employee currently moving to another apartment? Then postpone the appointment for a week. Create a calm atmosphere for feedback and minimize distractions such as emails, chats or phone calls. Your counterpart should know that you are giving him or her your full attention.
Use the Video Call A video call offers the ideal substitute for face-to-face conversation. Platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, or Google Hangouts give you the opportunity to talk face-to-face in person. As an alternative, you can use the telephone. However, video calls are generally more suitable because they allow you to perceive the facial expressions and gestures of the person you are talking to, which means that misunderstandings are less likely to occur.
Don’t wait too long to give important feedback Whether your virtual feedback is recognition, praise or constructive criticism, it should always be timely. Home office or remote employees need to know if they are doing a good job and meeting expectations, or what they can do to improve. When it comes to specific feedback, don’t let more than 48 hours pass before the conversation. The team member should be told as soon as possible how he or she can improve the work or what tasks went particularly well.
Schedule a regular feedback cycle In addition to spontaneous notes and comments, a regular and pre-planned feedback cycle offers benefits for your team and your company. This ensures that you have the opportunity to engage in a collegial exchange with all employees at set intervals. In addition, your employees can then prepare for the conversation as well.
Constructive feedback Concrete examples form the basis for constructive feedback. Consider in advance the specific areas in which your team member has potential for improvement. Provide any necessary support and assistance. As a matter of principle, ensure that feedback is factual, constructive and applicable. Negative comments without suggestions for improvement can quickly have a demotivating effect on teammates.
Watch your language When giving feedback, stick to the facts and avoid accusations. Explain the consequences of a mistake and do not focus on who made the mistake. Share constructive suggestions for solutions and soberly explain how a problem can be avoided next time. Pay close attention to your counterpart’s reactions and feedback.
Ask your coworkers for feedback Virtual feedback should be a give and take. So don’t just give your feedback, accept feedback from your coworkers. Through mutual and appreciative exchange, you promote collegial, successful teamwork. Regular feedback discussions form an important basis for successful changes and improvements in the company, not only in virtual teams.
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