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Culture Code - Grow through Feedback

We asked six staffers to share the most useful feedback they’ve received over the years and to tell us about how they applied it to their work.
Culture and Values

Our Culture Code is our shared vision of our ideal culture at One Acre Fund.

What is culture? It’s the way we act when we’re at our best. It should reflect our values (the big beliefs that anchor everything we do as an organization). But our culture is more personal. It captures how we each strive to act. It’s the daily behaviours that matter the most—and make us uniquely us. This is our culture.

This is the One Acre Fund Way.

We asked six staffers to share the most useful feedback they’ve received over the years and to tell us about how they applied it to their work.

Marie Suavis | Burundi

Marie Suavis - Burundi Staff

We give feedback generously

“One day, we had to tell staff we were temporarily suspending work. We were tempted to give false hope, but we opted to be transparent. Although people weren’t happy, there was trust in their eyes.

Afterwards, a staff member told me: ‘I’m not sure how tomorrow looks, but the way you communicated shows me there is hope. I have a family to feed, and I will wait for your call to tell me we can resume work.’

From then on, I knew that no matter how hard the situation, people understand if you set honest expectations.”

Jake | Rwanda

Jake - Rwanda Staff Member

We phrase constructive feedback with care

“When I was a relatively new manager, I was nervous about giving critical feedback. Sometimes I’d fix a problem myself without giving any feedback.

My manager gave me some great advice: being nice to someone by not giving them direct feedback is unfair to that person. Everyone needs feedback to grow and become better.

I’ve grown from the feedback I’ve received, and my team is stronger because of the feedback I’ve been willing to give.”

Doreen | Rwanda

Doreen Ndishabandi - Rwanda Staff

We ask for input on decisions

“Great feedback I once received was ‘steal the wisdom of others.’ It’s impossible to get 10 years of experience within months, but I can accelerate growth by deliberately drawing wisdom from my internal and external networks.

These days, I reach out to a broad group of people for their insights on challenges. This has allowed me to lean on the wisdom of both peers and advisors, and it’s added a richness to my contributions that wasn’t there before.”

Agnes | Malawi

Agnes - Malawi Staff

We use feedback to guide our growth

“One Acre Fund is my first formal job. One of my managers encouraged me that I could do better and that I shouldn’t worry about my age or the fact that I was new.

I had doubts about my capability or if I’d be effective. My manager believing in me changed my perception and helped me grow in my mindset. I am now a better person.”

Audrey | Kenya

Audrey Bolo - Kenya Staff

We apply feedback actively

“One of my colleagues always says not to take things so seriously that they become crippling.

The work we do is important and the deadlines and expectations can often lead to intense moments of stress. Yet his wisdom to not take it all so seriously, to instead choose to stay happy and calm, sticks with me.

Every time I reflect on a busy day or reviewing a mounting to-do list, I smile when I think about this calming perspective.”