It is time to hit the reset button and begin thinking about 2019! Besides remembering to sign the right date for at least a month, the new year can bring many opportunities. It may be time for a fresh beginning, a time of redemption through new behaviors, and a time of renewed relationships – especially with yourself!

We hear so much talk all the about becoming a “New You” once the new year comes around. At Crosworks, we prefer to look at the new year as an opportunity for growth and improvement – not with a new you, but built on the same you! Changing your habits or setting new goals does not invalidate the work and development you have reached. Use this time to focus on aspects to help refine and enhance your skills; do not let New Year New Me convince you that you are not a valuable and worthy person just as you are! That being said, there are many ways that we can find growth within ourselves, and often, this begins with understanding yourself and understanding others. In career, school, and even at home, a great way to find this guidance is from feedback. Gaining perspective from your peers and loved ones can help you see how your behaviors and interests influence how people perceive you. It can be difficult to see ourselves objectively as we have our own lens to filter our perception. Sometimes it is helpful to enlist feedback from others.

Feedback is a gift. Ideas are the currency of our next 
success. Let people see you value both feedback and ideas.
- Jim Trinka and Les Wallace

What Qualifies as Effective Feedback?

You may have received evaluations called “feedback” or “improvement plans” or even a “performance review.” Unfortunately, even with the best intentions, these evaluations often do little to improve performance. Feedback such as “you must work better with your team” or “you have a poor attitude at work” can have a negative impact on employee engagement and incite little inspiration for improvement. Effective feedback, just like S.M.A.R.T. goals, has quantitative parameters, offers specific examples, provides supportive resources and determines measurements for development.

No matter how good you think you are as a leader, my 
goodness, the people around you will have all kinds of 
ideas for how you can get better. So for me, the most 
fundamental thing about leadership is to have the humility 
to continue to get feedback and to try to get better – 
because your job is to try to help everybody else get better.
- Jim Yong Kim

Don’t Wait to be Told – Ask!

There are many ways to obtain feedback. It can be as simple as asking for spot feedback or scheduling a meeting to go over specific aspects of performance. In the workplace, asking for feedback is highly respected, as it shows passion for growth and understanding of areas of improvement. Of course, be aware. In other words, get to know the needs of those around you and give them the chance to think and plan their responses. Requesting proactive feedback can improve relationships between coworkers and leaders. Some other possible outcomes are listed below:

Individual Outcomes

  • higher task performance
  • lower turnover levels (more job satisfaction)
  • positivity in the work place
  • tangible results (better cohesion between coworkers, more respect, position advancement)

Group/Organizational Outcomes

  • better and more efficient performance
  • overall lower levels of conflict and higher levels of satisfaction
  • trickle-down effect to customers – more customer satisfactions
  • solidifies organization culture
Employees who report receiving recognition and praise 
within the last seven days show increased productivity, 
get higher scores from customers, and have better safety 
records. They’re just more engaged at work.

– Tom Rath

When the opportunity arises in 2019, do not hesitate to ask for feedback. If you are serious about improvement, being well-versed in asking for help is a must! Start the year off right, and with the intention of focusing on becoming the best version of yourself. 

We wish you a safe and happy New Year celebration, and a beautiful start to 2019!