Fostering a stronger connection with your organization

Luke Grimstrup

As a global workforce, we have had to change our views regarding what is a normal workday. Pre-COVID a typical day would include arriving at the office, face-to-face meetings, informal discussions upon seeing your colleagues, and having sparks of insight into any obstacles or problems you and others are facing.

However Post-COVID this has all changed for some people. We are either still in lockdown or have gotten more comfortable working from home, so creating and maintaining those connections in the organization has become more tenacious. It has now become something that is getting harder to foster within an organization since face-to-face interactions are not as frequent.

Managers and leaders are now having a more difficult time fostering these connections. It has now all come down to managers and leaders having to proactively create scenarios where these connections can be created, and creating time to maintain these connections has become that leaders need to write on their to-do list instead of something they assumed would be naturally cultivated through informal interaction in the office setting.

Giving feedback is one of the most effective methods to help employees succeed. It’s one of the main mechanisms for leaders to instill a feeling of learning and vitality in their teams. Providing your team with regular updates on personal performance as well as how the company is progressing helps them feel appreciated. Negative or corrective feedback encourages people

Psychological Safety & Receiving Feedback

The important leadership quality of charismatic leaders is creating a leadership culture that fosters psychological safety. Leaders need to be aware of their leadership styles and authentic tendencies. They need to be open-minded, transparent, and accepting of individual differences.

With practice and repetition, you can better yourself at promoting psychological safety by asking for feedback from others within the organization.

  • Seek feedback on yourself and on your team from trusted sources
  • The first step to recognizing it is to listen to what people have to say.
  • Ask follow-up questions about the feedback. You may learn more about the behavior and discover what you should stop, start, or continue doing in the future.
  • Act on the feedback. Take the time to process the feedback and focus on practicing that behavior.
  • Say thanks. Giving criticism may be difficult, and no one likes conflict.

Acknowledgment & Giving Feedback

Feedback may help team members achieve their objectives and goals. Feedback can also assist you in better understanding the strengths and shortcomings of your team, allowing you to grow on them and motivate more individuals.

Acknowledging and praising others for their effort and contributions can be described as an emotional investment that leads to a deeper connection with your work. This builds an intensified sense of purpose, pride, and even awe for your people within your team. Employees who are more invested in their work will be more productive, more creative, and less likely to leave an organization.

Managers can give feedback in a few different ways:

  • One way is to ask the person who completed the task for their thoughts on how it went or to ask them if they have any ideas on how it could be improved.
  • Another way is to ask them how their latest initiative is making them feel. This can help shift the conversation away from metrics and performance.
  • A third way is not always possible because of time constraints, but it is helpful nonetheless: with an individual or a group, thank them for what they accomplished, and then ask for input on how future tasks might be completed better.

When you want to give feedback, it’s helpful to prepare it so the feedback you give isn’t generic or vague, don’t wing it. Depending on the type of feedback you want to give there are a couple of straightforward frameworks that you can use to help.

STAR framework

  • Situation - Describe the situation – What? When? Who?
  • Task - What is expected in relation to work, behaviors skills, or tasks?
  • Action - How did what happened to meet or fall short of those expectations?
  • Result - The outcome or impact of the action.

The STAR framework enables a manager to give clear and specific feedback. So people know what worked, and what they could have done differently to improve.

GROW framework

  • Goal - What’s the goal you’re trying to achieve?
  • Reality - What’s going on at the moment? What’s hindering your progress towards your goal.
  • Options - What could you do? What resources and help do you need?
  • Will - What will you do? When will you do it? What will you need to be deprioritized to make this happen?

During the moment when you are giving feedback, another framework to leverage is the GROW framework. This is helpful in coaching conversations, allows you and the team member(s) to acknowledge the current situation, explore options, and commit to taking the next steps.

In summary

Leaders and managers looking to foster a stronger connection with their organization should consider giving and receiving feedback often. Giving praise, acknowledging the work taking place, and seeking input from others on how future tasks might be completed better can go a long way in fostering loyalty within your leadership network. When you want to give feedback, it’s helpful to prepare it so the feedback you give isn’t generic or vague; don’t wing it! Depending on what type of feedback you want to provide there are several frameworks that will help get your point across effectively: STAR framework (situation-task-action result), or GROW model (goal-reality-options-will). Whichever one you use, prepare the feedback you will give ahead of time. The more specific your feedback, the better outcomes can be achieved!

Leaders and managers should consider giving and receiving feedback because it fosters connection with their leadership network. Feedback not only helps team members achieve their objectives but also helps leaders understand strengths and shortcomings within their leadership team.

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