The participants involved in the above study were highly motivated to acquire the selected work-related skills, however, and the provided feedback was well received by recipients. Obviously, this is not always the case. Receiving feedback can be difficult and many find the process to be uncomfortable. Feedback may not be effective in changing staff behavior if individuals are not receptive. A staff person’s ability to accept new suggestions and ideas may be an important factor in whether or not performance feedback will result in changes in staff behavior.
Can individuals be trained to accept feedback more effectively, and, as a result, achieve greater competency?
Another recent study outlines how researchers implemented behavioral skills training to target behaviors demonstrated by employees during feedback sessions with supervisors (Ehrlich et al, 2020). In this study, employees received feedback regarding their ability to format email correspondence correctly. The participating employees received this feedback both prior to and after they received training that targeted how to receive feedback.
Training on how to receive feedback consisted of explicit instruction targeting eight specific behaviors that were identified by employers as desirable behaviors for employees to exhibit while receiving feedback.
The eight behaviors targeted for behavioral skills training were as follows:
After being provided with training that focused on demonstrating the above-listed skills, and participating in feedback sessions while implementing these skills, the employees completed a greater percentage of correctly formatted emails. These results indicate that feedback was more effective after receiving targeted instruction on how to receive feedback.
Although this study did not address which behaviors would be most effective when receiving feedback, it serves as a preliminary investigation of how employees should behave when receiving verbal feedback. The authors state that further research is needed in order to refine the list of skills critical to receiving feedback.
Ehrlich, R.J., Nosik, M.R.,Carr, J.E. & Byron Wine (2020).
Roscoe, E.M., Fisher, W.W., Glover, A.C, & Volkert, V.M. (2006). Evaluation the relative effects of feedback and contingent money for staff training of stimulus preference assessments. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 39, 63-77.
Teaching Employees How to Receive Feedback: A Preliminary Investigation. Journal of Organizational Behavior Management, 40:1-2, 19-29.