Giving Feedback is Product Management

Raphael Crawford-Marks, CEO of Bonusly, discusses how to give feedback to your team and create a culture that fosters high-performance and good decision-making.

Product teams are always getting feedback from customers. But giving feedback amongst the team helps with employee development and decision-making. In addition, studies show that giving and receiving feedback can reduce employee turnover and increase productivity.

I was thrilled to interview Raphael Crawford-Marks, an expert on this critical, yet commonly, overlooked skillset.

Raphael dropped out of high school to work in tech in the mid 90s. Some of the companies he worked at succeeded, and some failed. But he gained experience with many different approaches to company culture. Raphael has since spent years studying and experimenting to learn what workplace practices foster high performance, creativity, problem solving, and good decision-making.

Both positive and constructive feedback are important. However, positive feedback is not always a priority, so unfortunately most feedback is negative, according to Raphael. This is why he recommends leaders create opportunities for giving positive feedback.

Feedback should be timely, specific, actionable, and contextualized to shared goals, Raphael says. He also recommends giving employees the opportunity to provide feedback anonymously.

Raphael recommends leaders model giving and receiving feedback so that others will follow suit and stresses the importance of acknowledging the feedback you’ve received and sharing how you’re acting on it.

You’ll learn a lot from this episode about giving and receiving feedback downwards and upwards.

Here are the highlights:

  • How giving feedback impacts product teams (5:25)
  • The most significant challenges to giving and receiving feedback and creating a positive team culture (7:20)
  • Raphael’s recommendation for leaders giving feedback to reports (10:10)
  • How product managers should give feedback upwards (12:05)
  • The practices that helped Raphael get his company started with giving feedback (14:10)

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