Employee Experience: Are You Providing Feedback or Feedforward?
July 21, 2021
A critical component of a great employee experience is feedback – both from peers and from management. The iterative, continuous improvement that happens as a result of that feedback is important to an employee’s development, productivity, and engagement. But does that improvement really happen? Or is providing/receiving feedback more of a demoralizing exercise?
I recently read about a concept called “feedforward,” which was developed by Marshall Goldsmith many years ago. While feedback identifies areas that you need to improve upon based on current or past performance, feedforward “helps people envision and focus on a positive future, not a failed past. By giving people ideas on how they can be even more successful, we increase their chances of success.”
So, feedback is “here’s what you’re doing well or not,” and feedforward is “let’s set you up for success by providing suggestions or ideas to do just that.” The focus is on solutions, not on the problem. (Reminds me a little of current state mapping versus future state mapping and ideation.) Check out this video to see how Marshall describes feedforward and how it works.