How do we create a culture where coaching and feedback is a natural part of leadership if we do not invest the time?

Most leaders understand the importance of coaching- and feedback culture in the workplace. Although, do they really apply this behavior in reality?

According to a recent study by the researcher Simon Elvnäs, there is a massive gap between what leaders assume they do when giving feedback and what they actually do. In 2010 he and a team of researchers started a five-year study to identify and map supervisory behavior among managers in Swedish workplaces. One important question they focused on was what managers do when supervising, and how this affects the employees’ or team’s work and performance. Elvnäs found that managers only spent 0-2 percent of their time feedbacking the employees.  Some of the managers own assumption was up to 40 percent. A highly overestimated assumption.

Self-awareness about the effort we put on feedback and coaching, is a key component and a start of creating a better feedback- and coaching culture. Knowledge about what governs people’s behavior and help from experts who are mirroring our actual management style through behavioral training, can also contribute to sustainable organizational behavior change.

Eventually, as a manager and fellow human being, we have the responsibility to really stop and invest time for employee feedback. Even the smallest actions like a: pad on the shoulder, a validating smile, a nod or other acknowledgements could be a great starting ground for a positive feedback culture. Being mindful about those everyday actions DO make a positive difference on corporate culture.


Christina Kronberg, Lic.Psychologist and organizational consultant at Permoveo Coaching.