What is Feedback The observation of the receiver’s response is called feedback. In other words, the part of the receiver’s response communicated back to the sender is called feedback. Actually it is the amount of response of the receiver that reaches to the sender. It enables the sender to evaluate the effectiveness of the message. Some definitions on feedback are given below-
According to Bartol & Martin, “Feedback is the receiver’s basic response to the interpreted message”.
In the opinion of Bovee & Others, “Feedback is a response from the receiver that informs the sender how the communication is being received in general”.
What is Feedback
From the discussion, we can say that feedback is a system where the reaction or response of the receiver reaches to the sender after he has interpreted the message. Feedback is inevitably essential to make two way communication effective. In fact, without feedback in communication remains incomplete.
Why Feedback is Essential for effective Communication
Feedback is the response or reaction of the receiver after perceiving or understanding the message. It enables the sender to evaluate the effectiveness of the message. It is inevitably essential in case of two-way communication. Without feedback, two way communication is either ineffective or incomplete. Feedback is the only way to gain receiver’s response and depending on the feedback, sender can tack further steps. In organizational or business communication the feedback process is extremely important. However the necessity or importance of feedback is discussed below from different viewpoints:
Collection of Information: Feedback is the only way to collect information from the receiver, if the receiver doesn’t send message of information (Feedback) to the sender, there is no way to collect information from him. So, feedback helps the organization (Sender) to collect information from different people (Receivers).
Completion of Entire Communication Process: Feedback is the last and important step of communication process. Through feedback, the sender can learn the reaction or response of the receiver. It is an essential step of communication without which communication process is incomplete. So, in two-way communication feedback is mandatory.
Measuring the Effectiveness of Communication: Feedback is the only way to get the response or reaction of the receiver. From it, the sender knows how well his message is understood and how it will be used by the receiver. By analyzing the reaction, positive or negative, the sender of the message can measure to what extent communication is effective and what are the limitations with it. So, in two-way communication feedback is the only way to assess the success of communication.
Improving Labor-Management Relationship: A good labor-management relationship is a must for smooth functioning of organizational activities. If management believes in Two Way Communication system and permits the employees to express their feelings, reactions and opinions on various matters, they will be higly satisfied. So, Management should seek feedback from employees on different issues and at the same time they should provide feedback to employees. This practice will help management to create a congenial atmosphere in the organization that is essential for organizational success. So, Feedback helps to establish a healthy labor-management relationship in the organization.
Measuring the Effectiveness of Media: We use different type of media to transmit messages. The receiver gets the message by the media and understands its meaning. If receiver sends his feedback to the sender, it means that the media are appropriate. Improper media cannot reach the message to the receiver and thus fails to produce any Feedback. So, Feedback can be used as a criterion of Effectiveness of Media.
Taking proper Decision: Feedback helps the sender to take proper decision. If the receiver does not send his reaction or response on certain issue, the sender cannot decide on it. For example, sometimes manager sends plans and decision or policies to the subordinates for their appraisal. If the subordinates send their options, suggestion, complaints, reaction to the managers, they can take better decisions. So, Feedback helps the managers to take proper and quality decisions.
Problem Solving: Different types of problems may arise in an organization that must be solved duly and timely. Two Way Communication helps to address the problem and provide solution to the problem. For Example, if employees of an organization call for strike from the day after tomorrow it their due salary is not paid by tomorrow. After receiving the message, management of the organization decides to meet their demand but doesn’t inform the employees. Problem will decide to meet their demand but doesn’t inform the employees. Problem will remain, as the feedback of the management could not reach to the employees.
Coordination among Various Departments: There are many departments working in an organization to achieve the super-ordinate goals of the organization. For the smooth functioning of the activities, these departments must coordinate and cooperate with each other. For coordination, each department must contact with other and send back response to any query of other departments. So, Feedback is essentially required for bringing coordination among departments.
Getting the Reactions of Receiver: Through feedback the sender can get the responses or reactions of the receiver of his message. From the response, the sender responses, the sender can assess how well the receiver has understood his message and if there is any clarification to be made.
From the above discussion, we can say that feedback plays an important role in two way business communication. It is essential for the completion of whole communication system. In real sense, it is the essence of two way communication. So, What is Feedback? Feedback is inevitable for successful communication. Its importance can never be ignored or undermined.