Is No Feedback Good Feedback?
If my boss has not said anything, it surely means I must be doing a good job. Or is it that they don't care about me and my work...?
With no feedback, we are basically cut off. We act in ways that we think are right while being completely in dark. Hugh Prather once said that he'd rather have a man hate him than overlook him - because as long as the other man hated him, Hugh made a difference. And it's not much surprise his quote enjoys so much popularity - sense of purpose (meaning) is the motivation that drives us towards the future.
As suggested, no feedback gives way to open interpretations, and often leads to many assumptions on the employee side:
I must be doing fine.
They're waiting for me to make a mistake.
It doesn't matter what I do, my work doesn't carry any purpose.
My manager must think I can't take it.
My manager doesn't like me and doesn't want to talk to me.
I must be a lost cause, my manager already gave up on me.
...or maybe they have forgotten about me? After all, we haven't seen each other physically in a while.
Effective and regular feedback helps grow confidence and morale in employees. Hence, a lack of feedback will only reflect negatively on employee performance - or worse, lead them straight through the exit doors.
So - is no Feedback a good Feedback? Some may see it this way - and that's no good news. Because let's be honest, we all have stuff to work on and some reassuring that we're headed in the right direction is also crucial, even for the most senior of us. Luckily, research shows that most people want and expect more feedback.
Also, heave you hear about "no feedback's" evil twin "any feedback is better than no feedback"?