Why Is Instant Feedback Important? (Plus 6 Benefits)

Updated September 30, 2022

Managers and their team members can benefit immensely from feedback. Instant feedback is especially useful in many circumstances. Learning about why instant feedback is important may help you understand its benefits and improve the way you give your team members feedback on their work. In this article, we discuss the definition of instant feedback, describe why it is important, list several of its benefits and give some tips for delivering feedback to your team.

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What is instant feedback?

Instant feedback is a term used to describe the ability of managers and coworkers to give team members immediate commentaries and responses about their work. The benefits of this include the opportunity for employees to receive immediate, personalized coaching on how they can improve and the ability of managers to address many employees' questions more quickly. It also provides employees with a way to monitor their own progress and keep up with new information in their fields.

Why is instant feedback important?

Instant feedback is important because it provides employees with a valuable tool for professional development and ensures that employees understand their progress in the workplace. This type of feedback is a critical aspect of any job in which managers expect team members to improve. It allows employees to learn from mistakes and from the work of others, making adjustments as necessary. Instant feedback can also help prevent communication issues between coworkers or managers, who might otherwise be unable to adequately address problems or concerns.

Related: How To Give Effective Feedback To a Mentor

6 benefits of instant feedback

Here is a list of several benefits of instant feedback, with a description of each:

1. Allows you to make rapid changes

Instantaneous feedback allows leaders to make important changes within their teams quickly. For example, if a team member is struggling to understand a difficult project, a manager can return the team member's work immediately rather than waiting for the end of the day or another time in the future. This may allow the team member to make the necessary changes using their manager's feedback and resubmit their work quickly.

Related: Tips for Offering Feedback to a Peer

2. Allows you to monitor progress

Instantaneous feedback allows you to keep track of your work and allow yourself or your manager the opportunity to adjust deadlines or expectations as necessary. For example, if a team member realizes they are not meeting deadlines for assignments, the team member can talk with the manager about how to adjust those deadlines, because it is easy to keep track of this progress through instant feedback. Additionally, a team member can review their own work to monitor their own progress and work habits, especially if they have trouble meeting deadlines or following instructions.

Related: What Is a Feedback Model? Benefits and Common Types

3. Enables you to communicate with coworkers

Instantaneous feedback allows managers and coworkers to communicate easily, because both parties are aware of the other's progress and working speed. For example, if a coworker consistently turns in assignments late, this instantaneous feedback allows your manager the opportunity to address this problem quickly through a discussion with that individual rather than waiting for the next review cycle, which may be months away. Additionally, because of this open communication about work progress through instant feedback, it is more likely that you can identify problems early on and resolve them before major issues arise.

4. Allows you to receive personal coaching

Instantaneous feedback can provide employees with immediate coaching and direction on their work and explain which tasks they can improve on. This allows employees to understand their role in the workplace and what they can focus on while performing their duties, so they can make improvements in the workplace.

For example, if a manager asks a team member to complete several reports over the course of the week an instant feedback session can help that employee understand exactly what their manager expects of them and how they can approach their work. In other words, rather than being left with a vague set of expectations with no direction, the employee may have an actual plan for learning and improving in their field.

Related: How To Give Negative Feedback: Steps and Tips

5. Enables you to achieve success

Instantaneous feedback allows you to use your personal strengths to achieve success in the workplace. This can be particularly helpful if you are new to a field or new to a specific role or direction. For example, if you are new to the sales field, a manager may be able to explain exactly what they expect of you, by giving you instant feedback as you complete each sales task. Additionally, since your manager can monitor your progress as you work through these tasks and learn from mistakes or successes as necessary, you can continue making gains in your field through immediate feedback sessions.

6. Helps you learn from others

Instant feedback allows you to learn from others more quickly, because managers and other team members are able to respond and ask questions in a matter of minutes rather than weeks. For example, if a colleague has been struggling with a sales presentation, your manager may be able to help them immediately and give them direction on how they can improve their work through an instant feedback session. You can view your team member's weak points and strengths quicker during this session than you may be by waiting months for your manager to review all the information in a review cycle or another professional development meeting.

Related: Giving and Receiving Feedback: Definitions and Examples

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Tips for giving instant feedback

Here are some tips for giving effective instant feedback:

  • Maximize the specificity of your feedback: Giving specific feedback and providing specific examples of how to make improvements are the most helpful types of information to give to others. If you want to provide feedback on a coworker's work, let them know exactly how you feel they can improve their work.

  • Give feedback in private: Giving immediate feedback privately is often more effective than giving feedback to someone in a group setting. This is because you can provide more in-depth information on a team member's performance without affecting how other perceive that team member's performance.

  • Provide positive feedback with negative feedback: While it is important to provide negative feedback and criticism, it is also important to provide your employees with positive feedback when they do something right, so they can build on those strengths. For example, if you see a coworker successfully work through a problem and complete assigned work without asking for help, you can praise them for their hard work in your instant feedback session, which may encourage them to continue this behavior in the future.

  • Ensure the accuracy of your feedback: Make sure that the information you are providing about others is accurate. A manager's first job is to provide constructive feedback, so it is very important to provide the information accurately.

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