“I don’t hear anything from their side” is the number one complaint that individuals express when working in cross-cultural, virtual and global teams. There are three forms of feedback that this article will deal with: that of general responsiveness (or lack thereof), accolades or praise, and criticism (hopefully constructive). Feedback is a necessary component to doing business successfully, particularly when working globally. Studies have shown that employee engagement soars when a culture of feedback exists in their company. It has also been proven that employees are more satisfied at work when they receive regular feedback. It is one of the number one issues that comes up in employee surveys (in and of itself a feedback tool), and when asked about their opinions, individuals regularly ask the question whether their feedback will be integrated into actions taken by the organisation. Companies have unique, and not so unique, methods of responding, delivering accolades and offering criticism. Responsiveness is easy to remedy: tell people you expect a response. Mandate it, request it, state it, etc. Accolades are also relatively unproblematic: everyone appreciates them if they are sincere and well-meant. However there are cultures that feel too much praise is a nuisance, they assume there must be an exaggeration, or wonder if the source is trustworthy if real content or action is not referenced. But for the most part, people can live with praise in its various forms.
How to create a feedback culture
For over 20 years, Melissa Lamson has helped individuals and companies located all over the world build their leadership development programmes and respond to global business needs, leveraging innovation and outpacing the competition. Founder and president of Lamson Consulting, LLC, she is also frequently engaged as a speaker, has a master’s in intercultural relations, and is the author of three books: No Such Thing As Small Talk; #Cultural Transformation Tweet; and Successful US Market Entry.