Importance of Feedback

Throughout my last two internships, I have learned the importance of feedback in an organization. Constant feedback, being given in informal ways as well as formal processes, was essential to keep me going and engage me in work. As office vibe suggests “65% of employees said they want more feedback,” which demonstrates how essential it is in organizations. Also, “58% of managers think they give enough feedback” which again demonstrates that there is a lack of feedback in organizations. In most cases large firms have systems in place that promote managers and employees to give feedback to each other. In many cases these are anonymous to allow employees to actually criticize their managers. By using this system, the entire organization benefits and becomes more efficient. In other cases feedback is given straight forward in such a way that promotes communication between employees. Companies also promote informal feedback to have all team members “in the same page”. This is done by simple conversations that discuss the current performance and attitudes of employees.

More specifically, in my experience when working for an investment bank, there were several ways in which we received feedback. The most common technique was simple conversation with one’s colleges. The company emphasized the importance of constantly having conversations with colleagues about one’s performance and future improvements. During training we, interns, were told to ask as many times as we wanted how we were doing and what we could do to improve. This really kept us in the same page in terms of expectations. Moreover, the firm also organized each intern to have a “body”. A “body” is a person that works close to you and helps the intern with any questions he/she may have. Every intern would “get a coffee” with this person at least once a week, which created consistency. The benefits of such a strategy were invaluable. In my case my “body” gave me very specific evaluations of how I was doing and what I could do to improve. This was essential to my success during the summer. The systems work differently depending on the intern and the “body,” but if used correctly it can be very beneficial for both parties. This technique feels very informal and its enjoyable if one has a good relationship with the “body.” It promotes friendship, which is key in the development of the internship. The last way in which the company promoted feedback was mid and end evaluations. The intern had to choose 6 to 10 employees that worked closely with him or her to write an evaluation on his performance during the time. This evaluation focused on positive and negative aspects of the intern. Then the head of the team explained it. The evaluation was never given to the intern; it was only summarized to promote anonymity. This mid-evaluation was essential for the intern to understand his or her current performance and improve in the second half of the internship. It gave the intern a good idea of what the team thought about his or her performance. On the other hand, the end evaluation gave the intern a good idea if he or she will get a permanent offer. It explains essentially what the employees thought about his performance and if her or she would be a good fit for the team.

After my last two internships, I believe that constant feedback in an organization is essential for performance. It motivates employees to work harder and improve their flaws. In my case it was essential and an important factor to receiving another offer for this coming summer.


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