The gift of constructive feedback – a New Year’s resolution for the PEPY office
PEPY’s mission is to empower the youth of Cambodia. To do that, it is important to also empower our staff, and encourage capacity building and development within our own team. On 13th and 14th December, all PEPY staff members took part in a two-day training workshop about giving and receiving feedback. The training was led by Mr. Um Niseth from the World Food Programme, who volunteered his time to spend two days working with our team in Kralanh. The workshop aimed to improve communication between all levels of staff at PEPY, and create an environment of open feedback.
Day one looked at the ‘Basic Principles’ of effective communication. As human beings, we all need to feel valued in order to improve in both our working and social lives. Whether we are in a position of authority or working in a team, the more we understand our colleagues and the needs of others, the easier it is to communicate our ideas. By working through example case studies, Mr Um Niseth facilitated discussions about what makes an effective leader and manager, and how these traits are essential regardless of one’s working position.
Day two focused on more practical methods of giving constructive feedback. Through discussions, role-play exercises and personal reflections, the staff looked at the importance of feedback for the development of PEPY’s working environment. The main purpose of feedback is to bring about improvement, whether by giving that boost of encouragement to a colleague who can achieve more than they think, or to assist a peer struggling with a particular task. As Mr Um Niseth reminded the team, “feedback is like breathing, we need it every day”. By giving effective constructive feedback on a daily basis, we can improve on a daily basis.
Having compiled a survey of how the staff found the training, HR Manager Try Seakngoy said, “I think the training was successful because it was not just theory but also practical. Also, I found our staff use feedback more now, even during lunch time!”
The PEPY office is now working to improve the way in which staff give and receive feedback on a daily basis. For 2013, we are adopting a slogan favored by our founder, Daniela Papi, ‘Feedback is a gift not a gun’. Every new piece of information is a gift to help us improve our work and to strive for that extra mile in our lives. Take it, act on it, and pass it on.