The legendary Irish poet W. B. Yeats famously wrote, “Education is not the filing of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”
Allow me to take the match from his fingers and place it in yours:
You can ignite a new wave of personal and professional
growth in every one of your employees through the
giving and receiving of honest, constructive feedback.
How can this proven principle work for you and your organization?
The answer is tucked inside my recent conversation with Jeff Lockyer, Lead Pastor at Southridge Community Church in St. Catharines, Ontario.
Seven years ago, Southridge was barely on the cusp of being a healthy workplace culture. And employee engagement was low. “A lot of departments were borderline toxic,” admits Jeff.
“At the time, all of our work rhythms focused primarily on what to do and how to do it, rather than the underlying culture that enabled our strategy to be lived out. Clearly, we had missed the truth behind Patrick Lencioni’s wisdom, ‘Culture eats strategy for breakfast.’”
“We had to improve in our performance management relationship with our staff, and a lot of that had to do with improving our capacity to give and receive feedback.
The Three-Step Strategy
1) Realize the Potential of Your People
Jeff seized upon Uplifting Growth, the fourth of eight factors that drive a healthy thriving culture. Uplifting Growth is all about:
- improving the performance of individuals, groups and the organization.
- involving job-related experience, along with interaction with others, including managers, mentors, and coaches—as well as formal educational events.
- increasing an employee’s engagement which allows the organization to maintain and improve its effectiveness.
2) Create Rhythms of Constructive Conversation
Southridge discovered that it takes the right kind of conversations and setting to create constructive, productive feedback. Clear expectations, better communication, and greater trust developed as Southridge defined and leveraged three types of team meetings:
- Updates – shorter, stand-ups to get everyone on the same page
- Strategic – two- to three-hour working sessions to make key decisions collaboratively
- Blue Sky – big-picture ideas retreat-like gatherings to share values and envision the future together
The last 2-3% of what you’re really feeling will make 97-98% of the difference in those you lead.”
3) Be 100% Real
Jeff admits, “We, as leaders who supervise people, need to appreciate how difficult the ministry of management actually is. Direct, constructive feedback means you need to be real. This means you don’t hide your truest feelings from your people.
“I love what former General Electric CEO, Jack Welch says: ‘The greatest gift you can give people is the truth.’ When I’m giving feedback, I’m pretty good at giving 97-98 percent of what I feel, but it’s the potency of that last two or three percent that makes 97-98 percent of the difference and impact in helping a person be all God has created him or her to be.”
Objective, trusted data that pinpoints all eight culture drivers, from fantastic teams to talent management.
A clear measure of a culture’s improving health.
Employees who continually feel uplifted and who love coming to work.
And using the needed discipline of constructive feedback to grow its people.
That’s what’s driving the thriving workplace culture at Southridge Community Church.
“Having completed the BCWI employee engagement survey for the past seven consecutive years, our workplace culture is flourishing today,” says Jeff. “We’re never going to arrive. And yet God, through the work of His Spirit, is doing his miraculous work in us, and through us. It’s all about the journey of experiencing the ongoing work of God in His people.”
It’s Your Turn
When did you have the opportunity to receive, or give constructive feedback? What happened as a result?
Coming Up Next on our Continuing Series
“Uplifting Growth: A Culture Game-Changer”
Steve Brown, President
Abbotsford, British Columbia
Download the 8 Drivers Reference Guide for FREE.
One or more of these eight measures of workplace culture
is either strengthening (or weakening) your organization right now.
Al would love to address your questions about creating a flourishing workplace culture. Send an email to AskAl@bcwinstitute.org
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