Like?! Feedback culture in the age of the Like button

Feedback is crucial in the development of people, however, giving just positive feedback isn’t the only way to go. A short article about the importance of feedback and the meaning of the words “thank you”.

What do the announcement of Kylie Jenner’s second pregnancy and Lionel Messi’s move to Paris St. Germain have in common? According to Brandwatch, both are among the ten most successful posts on the social media platform Instagram, looking solely at the number of likes distributed by the app’s roughly 1 billion monthly users[1]. The total of 3.5 billion[2] daily “likes” represents the interest, approval, and appreciation of users for the content shown. Hitting the Like button is feedback in one of its fastest, easiest, and most importantly, purely positive forms. More often, the need to give feedback arises in situations that didn’t go as planned. In which corrections are necessary or mistakes have been made. If one leaves it at that, one disregards the possibilities that feedback offers. When taking the positive potential of feedback into account, a lived feedback culture offers one thing above all: opportunities! Opportunities to prepare and follow up personal and professional processes, to accompany them and to develop them further by a goal. On a personal level, feedback can encourage, motivate, sharpen self-perception and the perception of others, and promote participation and identification. From an economic point of view, successful feedback can support idea generation, be an accompanying control instrument, help in evaluating the quality of achieved results, facilitate troubleshooting, and support future decisions.
Considering one of the best-known feedback instruments: grades; the necessity for feedback in development is identified. Already in early childhood, with the entry into school, the confrontation with feedback on achievements takes place. However, not only the goal but also the path seems to be of great importance. While in the pedagogical context the limitation of feedback to numerical figures is criticized on an ongoing basis and alternatives are discussed, “the path” can be designed individually in every company and is not only shaped by managers.
We have made it our task to establish a conscious feedback culture based on reciprocity and responsibility from and to Vindelici instead of dependency and one-sidedness. We place special emphasis on the path, on the need to develop and not to dwell in the actual state. The awareness of the human being at the center of the process is crucial.
One building block of our path is therefore to hold regular discussions between the Mentor and the Mentee, which focus on the already mentioned mutual responsibility. This initially includes reflection on the Mentee’s successes and development potential.

[1] Cf. Joyce, Gemma (2021): Die 20 beliebtesten Fotos auf Instagram. URL:, (retrieved 10.12.2021).

[2] Cf. Joyce, Gemma (2021): Die 20 beliebtesten Fotos auf Instagram. URL:, (retrieved 10.12.2021).

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The focus should be on what has been learned and achieved, and possible starting points for further development should be identified. However, positive feedback on the Mentor and Vindelici as well as their potential for improvement from the Mentee’s point of view are also consciously requested. In this way, a regular opportunity is provided not only to analyze one’s strengths and weaknesses but also to create a safe space for constructive criticism. The reciprocity of these feedback discussions creates trust, which is essential as the basis for honest feedback. Regular meeting intervals prevent generalization. Putting the focus on a few, important aspects enables timely implementation and further development.
Another tool, which we employ to “jointly creating an agile, motivating feedback culture in which all employees can develop their full potential“[3] for our company is the use of the platform TeamEcho. Through this tool, our employees can anonymously provide feedback on various categories. The subsequent discussion of the results in a large, open group on the one hand values the contributions and on the other supports their sustainability. We create an opportunity for honest and constructive feedback, by providing anonymity and transparency. Therefore, we are enabling great potential for personal and corporate development.
Nevertheless, sometimes in personal feedback, it seems as simple as clicking the like button: “Thank you”, is briefly and succinctly expressed online with a “Like” and even outside of social media platforms a simple “thank you” expresses one’s appreciation for the call/help/idea. It’s often the everyday situations where nothing more – but also nothing less – is needed and this also gives the other person valuable feedback. In this way, “thank you” becomes the Like button in personal interaction and thus feedback in one of its quickest, simplest, and, above all, most positive forms.

[3] N.N. (2021): TeamEcho for Human Resources: Strengthen Company Culture, URL:, (retrieved 10.12.2021).

Elisabeth Ulshöfer_Managerin
Elisabeth Ulshöfer
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