Collaboration has never been more important than it is today, especially considering the challenges brought about by the pandemic. Nearly everything is operating remotely, and it has tested many teams’ ability to collaborate. CNBC reports that there has been an increase in the use of collaboration tools and networks as the workplace transforms into a hybrid setup. In fact, it more than doubled from an 18% adoption rate to 45% from 2018 to 2020. As more of us get used to collaborating online for the long term, giving and receiving feedback becomes especially important. Feedback helps steer the team in the right direction and reduces any major errors that may occur without proper communication. It can be a bit different to do online than in person, so here are several ways to send feedback when you’re collaborating online.
There are several ways to provide feedback, and not all of them are equal. Having the right tools on the right platform is integral to how effective your feedback will be. Matter does this by integrating feedback tools into existing platforms that are often used for team collaboration, such as Slack. This increases feedback survey compliance since it is on a platform that is already being used. It also discourages long and winding feedback forms that can be a chore to do. In our post 'Everything to Know About Employee Feedback Surveys in 2021', employee feedback surveys successfully would require them to be straight to the point, consistent, and trackable. As long as you’re using the right platform and tools, it should be easier to send feedback when collaborating online.
Sometimes all it takes to get your team started is leading by example. By sharing some parts of your self-feedback and showing that you’ve submitted your own assessment, your team will be encouraged to do the same. Self-aware leaders often affect change successfully. ‘The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership’ discusses how evaluating yourself as a leader can expose your strengths and weaknesses. The book also covers principles related to personal development, which is what feedback is all about. Taking others’ feedback is meant to help you progress, especially in leadership positions. If you want feedback systems to succeed when collaborating online, then it might help to start with yourself and get the ball rolling.
Collaborating online can be confusing and exhausting without a clear set of goals and priorities. Providing feedback should always be in line with clarifying goals and priorities. In your one-on-one calls, ask team members what their goals are and align them to the team’s objectives. You can also help them sort through possible conflicting priorities. It’s also important to communicate when these goals have changed and to share new information from management. Feedback is only possible if there is a shared goal, but clarifying each team member’s role in achieving it is essential since everybody may be in different stages of progress. Collaborating online is much easier when the team understands their goals and the steps needed to reach them.
Apart from facilitating feedback and using collaboration tools, ensuring your employees are engaged is also crucial. Working from a distance can affect team members’ abilities to collaborate, much less give feedback. The Journal of Applied Psychology has published that pandemic-related stressors can lead to decreased employee engagement, so disconnecting from one’s team and even the company is a real possibility you need to watch out for. Make sure to keep tabs on your remote team’s engagement. Having regular check-ins and conducting engagement surveys can help you nurture an open and collaborative culture that’s open to feedback. What’s important is that people feel heard and that feedback is acted upon.