For many, the work-from-home conditions of the pandemic have brought into focus the importance of an organizational culture that puts employees in position to perform best. One way to achieve this environment is by fostering a culture of feedback, where it was readily given and received, says Rhea Steele, CAE, chief of staff for the School Nutrition Association (SNA).
“With a culture of feedback, you will actually see increased innovation because employees feel safer talking with other employees about how to problem solve, how to address an issue, or even just an idea that they had,” Steele said. “With greater innovation, you have additional opportunities for revenue.”
Steele, who previously worked at an organization with a strong culture of feedback, is using that knowledge to guide SNA. However, Steele also recognizes big changes don’t happen overnight, so SNA is deliberately moving in phases.
First, it moved away from annual evaluations with six-month check-ins to quarterly conversations to help ensure critical conversations are not delayed. SNA is also developing the structural backbone required to build a culture of feedback: strong personal connections.