The relevance of feedback among organizational members cannot be overestimated. Employees, in fact, rely extensively on this method to figure out whether their performance matches the organizational goals and whether they are performing as expected. Employees may feel disoriented or frustrated if they do not receive feedback.
Feedback entails a two-way review of an employee’s previous performance to give a foundation for management considerations (e.g., wage, promotion, relocation, layoff) and talent management to match an employee’s performance with corporate strategy (Linna et al.,2012; Spence & Keeping, 2011). Linna et al. (2012) discovered that a poor Performance evaluation encounter had a detrimental effect on employees’ beliefs and expectations in a recent four-year longitudinal study with a sample of more than 6,000 public workers.
Performance reinforcement and insightful comments are two common forms of conventional feedback that can motivate an employee to work harder or less. Much research has demonstrated that the feedback loop is frequently not as efficient as it appears to be. Only 26% of employees, according to Gallup research, believed that feedback helped them perform better at work.
By its very essence, feedback focuses on previous experiences and achievements. There are very few lessons to be learned from such comments because you cannot modify the past. We think that feedback results in insufficient and ineffective results for several reasons, including:
- It emphasizes ratings rather than performance.
- It stifles imagination and self-control.
- It promotes a constrained understanding of our potential.
Marshall Goldsmith, a corporate educator, and mentor developed the idea of “feedforward,” which focuses on creating communication strategies with the prospective future in mind. Feedforward is a constructive approach that provides instructive or forward-looking viewpoints that one can use to expand upon or better (Fink, 2013; Goldsmith, 2009; Hattie, 2009). Since the early 1990s, training and communication innovation have been in use. But it has only recently begun to gain much-needed momentum. While aiding staff in overcoming obstacles that are holding them down and adversely impacting their output and performance, it can give executives consideration and contribute to the future creation of a more positive workplace.
The philosophy of appreciative inquiry serves as the foundation for the feed-forward notion. Social constructivism is where the fundamentals of appreciative inquiry can be discovered (Berger & Luckmann, 1966). Within the context of the positive psychology paradigm, the idea has been researched (Seligman, Steen, Park, & Peterson, 2005). This theory’s fundamental tenet is that interactions that emphasize strengths, accomplishments, and values are transformative and help people alter their behavior for the better (Whitney & Trosten-Bloom, 2003).
Joe Hirsch outlines six elements and six distinct features of feedforward that make it so successful in his book “The Feedback Fix.” He calls them by the acronym REPAIR (regenerates, expands authentic, impact, refines). He has more fully described why backward-looking feedback frequently fails to produce positive outcomes for three reasons:
- Our cognitive gauges are turned off by it.
- Not progress, but ratings are the main goal.
- It encourages undesirable behavior.
An employee learns about their current performance when they receive feedback. The task known as feedforward is feedback in the opposite. It involves substituting solutions focused on the future for either positive or negative feedback. It simply implies putting more emphasis on the present than the past.
The major distinction between feedback and feedforward is that the former is more concerned with the past, while the latter is more concerned with the future. While feedforward examines what someone can do to better going forward, feedback examines what someone has done incorrectly and how they might rectify it. Feedforward is a useful method for providing insight that can enhance teamwork, communication, and spirit. It offers practical guidance and solutions and is forward-thinking.
For instance, a worker might receive encouragement, advice, and suggestions on how to manage customer concerns effectively in the future (feedforward) rather than instances of how their customer support abilities have previously shown to be less than functional (feedback).
The pros of feed-forward are various, some are as:
- It provides aid in setting and achieving goals.
- It is more uplifting than criticism.
- It could assist in identifying team leaders.
- It facilitates better communication.
- It is future-oriented.
- It is not biased.
- It provides tips and helpful guidance.
- It is viable at a top scale.
Feedforward is said to have the benefit of eliminating critical comments from a supervisor (Kluger & Nir, 2010). The Feedforward methodology is predicated on the idea that employees can, if questioned, define their performance-effective accomplishments and, more significantly, methods to foster circumstances that will lead to comparable, if not larger, accomplishments in the future. This is so that one can further identify objectives to produce positive experiences that will expand one’s abilities because of discovering what made them particularly productive (Kluger & Nir, 2010).
Feedforward is a type of oversight that emphasizes establishing criteria before the task is launched. Additionally, it considers the staff, inventory, and other organizational assets. One of the aspects of feedforward is assisting firms with their HR and hiring procedures. By establishing rigorous criteria, an HR and Admin automation system will assist in identifying possible applicants with the necessary competencies. With the aid of this system, you can compile applicant data into a single database, carry out background checks and evaluations, discuss pay, and create personalized employment letters.
Operation and workflow optimization can improve worker satisfaction and increase business governance. Workflow automation is one of the most popular approaches for moving forward with feed-forward integration. You invariably add quality, reduce error, and boost efficiency when you modify dashboards by adding a variety of feed-forward tools and authorization mechanisms. Additionally, the process involves each stakeholder necessary for accomplishment, including the technical teams, HR, and management.
Mechanisms for “feed-forward” correspondence are only successful when they possess the following traits:
- Boosts aptitude and self-worth
- Maximizes Opportunities for advancement
- Reduces workflow failures
- Offers Precise Approaches
- Helps in Identifying the Conflicts
- Updates Group Dynamics
- Prioritizes coaching over criticism
- Provides notions for the future
Feedforward is a type of assessment in which all peers can acquire and provide input. It moves the emphasis to performance and predictive maintenance rather than becoming a critic who is simply too late to play. When using the feed-forward approach, keep these principles in view.
- Define your objective in precise terms.
- Seek Improved Opinions and Solutions.
- Pay Close Attention to the Insights.
- Praise and thank everyone who participated.
- Swap roles.
By making managers aware of an employee’s self-set objectives, the feed-forward helps managers support people in finding variables that are favorable to accomplishing goals. The Organizational Justice Theory (Folger and Cropanzano, 1998) states that a leader must not only be sincere but also regarded as legitimate to be successful in improving the output of subordinates. Feedforward is useful for human resource managers who want to improve their organization’s human resource performance beyond that of the standard performance appraisal process. Feed-forward evaluations focus less on positive or negative feedback and instead provide suggestions for how a predicament may be modified in the future.
Feedforward is uplifting and illuminating without being condemning. It strengthens productive working connections among coworkers. Feedforward will help you get past obstacles and start moving forward more quickly if you feel like your company, employees, or peers are all running on a hamster wheel. You might find team members who are poised to take the reins. The advantages are simple to see once you understand the distinction between feedback and feed-forward. Keep in mind that while the future is uncertain, the past cannot be changed. The creation of a brighter future is the main goal of feed-forward.