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#WFH: What Kind of Feedback Are You Getting?

Organizations can support virtual workers and teams by providing structure and leadership that can be relied upon and trusted. Clear expectations and objectives that are well-communicated and tracked help the virtual worker understand exactly what is expected. Opportunities to learn and grow are also important to the care and feeding of the virtual worker. Providing training that allows a contribution to the organization’s business mission, while aligning with the personal priorities of the individual, benefits both parties. This training serves personal and organizational development in the virtual workplace and can have a significant impact on loyalty and performance.

Collaboration and interdependence in business only come when you have enabled people to be autonomous. People who are dependent are needy and have not bought into the real vision or mission of leadership. If you are a leader in the virtual world, it is your job to make sure everyone knows what is expected. You want to communicate with people early and often, but not be overwhelming. You also need to remember that feedback is a two-way street. Truly collaborative interaction requires feedback going both ways that is open, cooperative and honest. If workers feel they are being criticized, judged or condemned, they will be much less honest and cooperative. If you want collaborative interactions – so important online – you must establish the rules and the techniques to achieve them. Reinforcement and feedback make the pajama worker feel more connected and involved.

The organization needs to support the development of key relationships and provide lots of opportunity for connection and feedback. Feedback was important in the face-to-face environment. It is even more important in the virtual world. You want to know where you stand, if you are doing a good job, and if you are doing what is needed and required to meet the business needs. Leading in the virtual world requires skilled feedback both to the team and individual. Communicating feedback is an art. Positive or negative, it can be a critical component in success. Knowing how to deliver feedback to an individual or team so that it is received the way it was intended requires training. Very few people are experts at providing others with feedback unless they have learned that skill. Feedback should be honest, supportive and timely.


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