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Building a strong feedback culture

Feedback. Sometimes it’s dreaded, even feared. But it shouldn’t be like that! At Emakina, we’re working hard to build a strong feedback culture. We think of feedback as a sign of caring about each other, and it helps us grow together as well as individually. 

The basis of a strong feedback culture is honest feedback across all layers of the organisation. It’s not just about you and your manager. It’s also about feedback between you and your team members and between managers and directors. Everyone, no matter what your role is, is part of the feedback culture. 

Feedback challenges

At Emakina, we want people to take ownership of their career. Working here means that you have the opportunity to work on challenging and exciting projects, but also to work on your ambitions and skills. Giving and receiving feedback is part of that. An additional challenge is that we have a very international environment and although we can all speak English, sometimes things do get lost in translation or are interpreted differently because of different cultural and personal backgrounds. That is why feedback can be a very delicate subject, one that we want to handle with respect. 

Feedback all day, everyday

Creating a feedback culture is not something that happens overnight. It’s something that the Emakina HR department works on continuously in close alignment with leads and managers within the company. There’s many feedback initiatives in place already. Everyone has their one-on-one meetings with their manager, there’s feedback training and, as part of the end-of-year review, 360° evaluations. 

HR Officer Esther Dobbe is enthusiastic about the 360° reviews as a way to reflect on performance. “It gives insight into your work and behavioural skills, which you can use for further development. We use Impraise to collect feedback from peers and for our self assessment. Everyone can see all the feedback about themselves in one overall report. It’s very transparent.” 

Train our feedback skills

Our feedback training is led by De Team Company. The training consists of two sessions in which we work on a growth mindset and learn how to give and receive feedback in an effective and authentic way. Project Manager Peter joined one of the feedback sessions and says: “learning the skills of giving and receiving feedback is extremely important, because we constantly work with colleagues from different backgrounds and cultures. The training was very useful, because you get to practice these skills in a safe environment with your colleagues and you are guided by a skilled instructor.” There’s plenty of room to practise during the training, in the follow up sessions there’s even a professional actor to take it up a notch. 

SEO Specialist Margaret also joined the training: “It is very important not only to know how to give feedback, but also how to receive it. It definitely helps a lot to make your work more effective and fruitful. The training helped to understand feedback pattern that should be used, gave some insights about combination of constructive and emotional and just explained how to cooperate with colleagues in a healthy way.”

Like we said, a feedback culture doesn’t grow overnight. It takes a lot of time and effort, which we happily put in!

Eager to contribute to and participate in our feedback culture? See if we’ve got a job for you.

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