Employment feedback promotes clear expectations, engagement and empowers teams. Learn how employment feedback works and its organizational benefits in 2021!
If you are a people manager, you would definitely be spending a lot of time in identifying tools and practices to boost employee engagement. However, you must have overlooked the importance of constructive employee feedback to facilitate the same. If that is the case, you need to pause and revisit the importance of employee feedback for employee experience. Put simply, employee feedback involves having a constructive discussion with your employees and team members about what is working and what is not.
Statistically speaking, employee feedback has a direct impact on engagement and performance. Research shows 43% of highly-engaged employees receive employee feedback at least once a week. Additionally, 75% of employees prefer their feedback as early as possible. A culture of employee feedback opens up the gates for two-way communication, leading to greater understanding, synergies and collaboration.
Table of contents
More often than not, you might see employee feedback as a unidirectional process. It is understood as a process where a manager evaluates employee performance and offers feedback on the same with a way forward for improvement. However, if you closely look at the employee feedback lifecycle, you will come across three major components, each of which has its own value.
The employee feedback lifecycle begins with evaluating the performance of an individual as well as the team as a whole. Performance evaluation can be undertaken using several practices like measuring key performance indicators, achieving targets, etc. Following a few parameters, you can evaluate how well the employee has been able to perform as well as identify areas of improvement. You must encourage a self-reflection exercise as well to understand the evaluation of performance by employees themselves.
Next step in the employee feedback lifecycle is giving feedback to the employees based on highlights of performance evaluation. The objective is to offer constructive feedback on what worked and what didn’t work. Simply, saying your performance could have been better will not suffice. You must encourage your managers to spend adequate time on offering feedback to each employee highlighting their strengths as well as areas to work on. Additionally, managers should explore offering employees with the resources, guidance or direction on how they can work on the areas mentioned. Feedback is not only about identifying areas of improvement, but also identifying ways and means to improve based on experience of the managers.
Most managers believe that the employee feedback lifecycle ends at the above-mentioned second step. However, this third step which revolves around seeking feedback from employees is equally important. This involves empowering and encouraging employees to share their side of the story. This should not only be limited to their performance and what worked for them and what did not. Rather, it should entail constructive feedback for the manager as well as the team as a whole. You should give each employee an opportunity to voice what they perceived worked and what are the areas of improvement on an organizational, manager, team and individual level. This particular step holds great importance when it comes to engaging employees and making them feel valued.
Now that you understand the various components of employee feedback, let’s understand why employee feedback to managers matters and vice versa.
There are several reasons why you should focus on creating a culture of sharing employee feedback to managers, including:
Get an understanding of what the employees feels and perceives about the organization and the manager and address any challenges.
Ensure that employees feel free to share their views and perspectives and organizational hierarchy doesn’t stand in the way of open communication.
Promote a culture where everyone is accountable for their actions and to everyone in the team, irrespective of the position.
Facilitate greater engagement as employees feel valued when their opinions and feedback is being taken seriously
Thus, with employee feedback to managers you can ascertain that employees feel more connected to the organization with an increased sense of belongingness.
Similarly, there are multiple benefits you can reap by creating a culture of feedback with managers providing the same to their team members, such as:
Help employees understand where they are going wrong and gives them the chance to perform better.
Allow employees to play on their strengths and work on their weaknesses to boost their performance and bring in greater productivity.
A study by Gallup showed that turnover rates are 14.9% lower in employees who receive feedback than those who don’t.
Promote great relationship building that enables managers to understand employee personality and ensure effective mentoring and guidance.
Therefore, constructive feedback from managers to employees can enable you to facilitate greater productivity, engagement, relationship building and retention, promoting organizational growth and success.
At the first glance it seems that there are just two types of employee feedback, positive or negative. However, if you look closely, it becomes clear that there are several types of employee feedback based on the nature, scope, frequency, etc. While the list can go on, we will talk about the key employee feedback types that most fast growing organizations have adopted:
This is an all-encompassing form of employee feedback from across all stakeholders on all parameters. For a 360* feedback, you should focus on capturing performance evaluation for a particular employee across all aspects to get a comprehensive view. This involves getting feedback from different team members, other managers, and a few key stakeholders in the organization. The idea is to get feedback from superiors, juniors as well as peers to identify strengths and weaknesses and lead the way for improvement.
Amongst the various types of employee feedback, one factor lies in the frequency of the feedback.
Conventionally, you might have relied on an annual feedback mechanism. In such a case, employees are given feedback and the chance to share their feedback too once a year based on the annual performance. While this form of feedback may be less time consuming for you, it deters incremental growth and implementation of corrective measures in an agile manner.
It is time that you start your journey towards continuous feedback mechanisms where employees receive and offer feedback on a regular basis. There is no need to wait for the year to end for managers and employees to share their opinions, reviews and feedback and identify areas and ways of improvement.
Finally, in the types of employee feedback, our last focus is on the objective or the nature of feedback. For most people this resembles positive or negative feedback. However, it takes the whole idea a step further to make it more constructive and result oriented.
Reinforcing feedback is on a positive note where the aim is to encourage the employee to continue what he or she has been doing. This generally comes after a performance evaluation which has shown positive results indicating that things are going well. In a way, it aims at reinforcing the actions being undertaken.
Redirecting feedback, on the other hand, comes to the picture if you want to offer negative feedback. However, simply stating that this is not working out is self-defeating. Therefore, with redirecting feedback, you must highlight the challenges in the current state of work as well as identify and share corrective measures.
To make employee feedback effective, you must focus on asking the right questions. The below mentioned questions are primarily from an employee’s point of view to capture their feedback on their performance, as well as on different managerial and organizational factors.
With a firm understanding of the importance, types, questions, etc. of employee feedback, it’s now time to explore the best practices. We will cover the best practices to offer employee feedback, followed by a few examples for greater clarity. Next, we will highlight the best practices on how to gather and leverage feedback from employees.
Let’s start with how you and your managers should give feedback to your team members to ensure it is effective and meaningful.
Don’t beat around the bush. Directly come to the point on what worked and what are the areas of improvement. While it is important to set the context, don’t waste time in random conversations.
Keep the feedback to the point and be constructive with examples. When you are mentioning what didn’t work, offer a course that might have been better and how one can improve. Be very clear in what your expectations are.
Offer feedback with an open mindset to hear their side of the story. Actively listen to what the employee has to say and then respond accordingly. Don’t simply stick to the feedback you have prepared. Customize the conversations according to the situation.
Offering feedback once a year is not enough. Offer feedback regularly and follow up on the actions suggested. Take a review of the feedback offered before and gauge the improvements before providing the next feedback.
Here are a few statements that you can use to start your feedback sessions which ensure effectiveness:
In the next leg, let’s focus on how you can effectively gather feedback from employees to facilitate an open culture.
You can float regular surveys to gauge employee sentiment. From pulse to annual, you can explore different ways and questions to understand what employees feel.
Create an anonymous suggestion box for employees to share what they feel can be improved and what they appreciate.
Encourage closed room conversations with employees to understand their specific challenges and grievances.
In the last section of the best practices, let’s quickly explore how you can benefit from the feedback gathered from employees.
Ensure that you really listen to the employee feedback and don’t take it as a mere tick in the box. Try to understand the concern and make mental or physical notes.
Don’t get defensive on the feedback instantly and don’t take offence if something negative is shared. Take it in the spirit of growth and action on the challenges.
Try to get to the route of the problem. Ask follow-up questions to truly understand what the feedback means and how the employee proposes to address the same.
Create a list of action items and share with the employees on how you seek to implement the feedback. Once implemented, share the progress made at regular intervals.
By now it is evident that employee feedback is a critical part of creating an empowering and positive employee experience. To facilitate the same, you must start by gauging employee pulse to understand their sentiment. Learn how SuperBeings can help you gauge employee feedback in the most effective manner with pulse surveys. Furthermore, SuperBeings can empower you with actionable insights to predict employee turnover, address the reasons for low productivity, calculate the cost of turnover and boost engagement.
Take your employee experience to new heights with our customizable employee engagement module. Book a free demo today!
The right compensation management practices and policies can make or break your employee experience. Of course, there is merit in linking compensation and performance to drive organizational success, it can lead to several questions and implementation problems as well.
Read on to get all your compensation management related questions answered.
Let’s start with the very basic question of why fair compensation is important and the merits it brings along. It is no surprise that if you are paid more and are compensated according to your efforts, you are likely to give in your 100% and stay with an organization longer. However, there are other factors that support fair compensation:
Thus, fair compensation as a part of compensation linked performance management has the potential to facilitate better employee outcomes such as engagement, experience and performance.
To make compensation fair and inclusive in all aspects, it needs to have a clear foundation. Most organizations have relied on performance reviews as a way of reflecting on performance as a means of compensation decisions. However, there are several competing views both for and against tying compensation to performance reviews.
Clearly, there are both sides to the story.
The most favorable outcome will be to keep performance as one of the parameters for compensation, but not the sole foundation.
Additionally, as one of the best practices, performance reviews can be conducted on a regular basis, where some are only developmental in nature and others can be tied to compensation management.
As discussed, focusing only on performance reviews for compensation management needs a relook. Working with growing organizations, we have curated a list of the top five performance and compensation management practices you can leverage:
Ensure that your compensation structure aligns with the market trends so your employees don’t feel underpaid and leave.
Provide complete transparency and clarity to your employees on what constitutes high levels of performance and what it will take to earn a raise or appraisal.
Have specific, well defined and measurable criteria for the compensation strategy to ensure that there is complete transparency.
Salary in hand or the pay check your employees receive is accompanied by a range of benefits that are a part of the compensation structure and cost to the company, but are often overlooked by employees. Make sure they are widely communicated.
Ensure that there is a base pay range for every role and profile with variable additions based on candidate competencies.
The idea of fair compensation and linking compensation and performance management, leads to a very interesting concept of distributive justice. On a broad level, distributive justice essentially focuses on ensuring that the compensation received by employees is fair and equitable and is based on objective and rational grounds which are uniform for all. Here are a few ways to ensure distributive justice:
Measure potential and market value of the employee in addition to experience and expertise to ensure distributive justice for high potential employees
Another interesting component of compensation and performance management that you must acquaint yourself with is pay transparency. Essentially pay transparency refers to how openly or freely employees within an organization can discuss their compensation with others.
This is not only limited to the check they take home but other perks and benefits they are entitled to. Invariably, many platforms today also enable individuals to anonymously share their salaries online and get insights from others doing the same. However, there are diverse views on when it comes to pay transparency for an organization.
Those who advocate for pay transparency believe that it can enable large scale impact for the organization across performance management.
However, there is a flip side to pay transparency too with some common pitfalls that need to be addressed proactively.
In the last section of this article, we will focus on how managers play an integral role in compensation and performance management and the best practices to guide managers to have effective compensation conversations with their team members.
Almost 58% organizations do not train managers on pay communications
This startling statistic clearly highlights how despite the apparent importance of compensation management, the focus on ensuring a seamless process is rather limited. However, organizations today can play a leading role in enabling their managers to have better pay communication and conversations by following these tips:
It is quite evident that compensation and performance management are intrinsically interlinked and if leveraged well, compensation has great potential to not only drive performance, but also facilitate engagement, retention and much more.
However, to ensure the same, you need to have a very structured, transparent and fair compensation strategy and policy. Furthermore, you must, don’t forget to invest in training your managers to bridge any gaps and constantly gauge and address employee pulse — to ensure fair compensation for all.
Talent development is critical for growing organizations which see the workforce as their biggest asset. Focus on developing their talent stack not only leads to a pleasant employee experience, it also augments the overall performance and productivity for an organization.
While you may come across many ways to facilitate talent development, leveraging the competency framework can help you move the needle very quickly.
Let's see how.
Before moving directly to how you can implement the competency framework, let’s quickly understand the 5 stages of talent development.
The first stage involves planning for your talent needs based on your organizational priorities and creating the position profile based on the skills, attitudes and other competencies.
Based on the position profile, you need to start attracting talent for the position. You can do so by spreading the word in the right networks, through job portal platforms, etc. The objective is to ensure that you are reaching out to the right network. You can also explore the right candidate for the position internally to considerably save hiring and training costs.
Once you have identified the right person, the next stage of talent development is extending the offer to the person after a thorough background check as well as a competency and expectation match. It also requires creating personalized onboarding plans for the first 30-60-90 days of the candidate’s journey within the organization. Read our guide to employee onboarding to learn more about onboarding do’s and don’ts.
The main focus of talent development starts with providing the right development and learning opportunities to your workforce. This can involve upskilling for both technical and soft skills, leadership building or any development intervention based on the need of the role and position.
Finally, talent development involves undertaking initiatives to retain your talent. While learning opportunities are important, facilitating engagement, wellness, motivation, etc. all contribute to employee retention.
If you are wondering how the competency framework aligns with talent development, you need to start by decoding what the framework actually stands for.
Put simply, a competency framework is a set of behaviors, skills, abilities and attributes that an organization considers imperative for creating a high performance culture.
The competency framework can be implemented at all stages of the talent development or the employee lifecycle within an organization. The idea is to ensure that certain core competencies are kept at the heart of the decision making that in any way impact the workforce.
Competency framework based talent development is very important for employee retention. Talent development practices when undertaken effectively have the potential to encourage team members to stay with the organization for long and at the same time become ambassadors to help attract high quality peers.
Here are the top reasons why competency framework based talent development matters:
Now that we have covered the basics of talent development and competency framework, let’s understand how leveraging the latter to advance the former can create a far reaching impact for organizations.
The first step is to create a competency framework which involves identifying the key competencies which will be instrumental in guiding all decisions around talent development. Depending on the nature of your organization, there can be categories within the competency framework that you seek to focus on. Your competency framework should focus on behaviors, skills and attributes which are critical for performance and overall success. The following steps can help you create a competency framework for talent development:
The responsibility of creating the competency framework is collective. It starts with involving the executive leadership to ensure alignment with the vision, people managers to ensure they are ideal for the culture you are trying to build and functional managers to ensure inclusion of right competencies for each role and position. Furthermore, involving those on the ground can be fruitful as they have the best idea of what competencies are critical and others which are good to have.
Once the competency framework for talent development is ready, the next step is to align it with your recruitment process to ensure precise and effective hiring. There are a few steps along the way:
The onus of implementing the competency framework during selection lies primarily with the HR team and recruiters who assess the candidates with different tests and assessments. Team managers and leaders also play a role in assessing functional competencies and fit.
Irrespective of whether an employee is onboarded before or after you have implemented the competency framework for recruitment, you need to ensure competency based performance management and development opportunities.
From a talent development perspective, the focus of the competency framework should equally be on developing employees for their next or subsequent role based on the specific competencies for the same.
The onus of aligning performance and development with the competency framework lies with team managers as they are best able to determine the performance gaps. Furthermore, employees with their managers can identify competency gaps for better performance and focus on the right learning and development interventions to bridge the same.
Finally, the competency framework must also impact the subsequent rungs of talent development where an employee moves up the ladder from one position to the next. Based on the organizational matrix and competencies for each level, you need to identify key attributes that differentiate one level from another and ensure the same is communicated to your employees.
In a nutshell, it is quite evident that the competency framework can inform and advance every stage of talent development for fast growing organizations. If you implement such a framework across the employee lifecycle, you will significantly reduce your chances of a wrong hire and will be able to nurture a workforce that aligns on the vision, goals and overall organizational culture.
A clear competency based talent development approach can help you achieve high levels of performance which is observable and measurable.
While most people managers are able to create a business case for setting OKRs as well as for the adoption of an OKR software by leveraging industry benchmarks and best practices, there is a need to explicitly decode the return on investment of using an OKR tool as well.
Unless they are able to clearly illustrate how the return achieved using a goal management software is greater than the investment, it becomes difficult to sustain the adoption and get long-term leadership buy-in.
Continue reading to strengthen your business case on the same.
Let’s quickly understand how the OKR framework is integral for an organization, especially high growth companies. Most fast growing organizations have competing priorities they need to focus on with limited resources at hand.
Therefore, simply setting goals by adopting a top-down approach without supporting parameters can lead to confusion and incompetence. OKRs help drive away this ambiguity by linking measurable key results for each objective and facilitating a collaborative approach to achieving goals.
Here are the top three benefits of implementing OKRs in an effective manner:
OKRs enable employees and leadership to have a very clear focus on what needs to be accomplished and what work is out of scope. The idea is to have complete clarity on —
The last part is extremely important as it helps create a sharp focus and set priorities straight.
93% of employees don’t really understand what their organization is trying to accomplish in order to align with their own work.
This illustrates that there is a big absence of clarity and focus amongst employees when it comes to what needs to be accomplished, which stands in the way of creating a high performance culture. Therefore, OKRs can help reduce such uncertainty and ambiguity, making it easy for the workforce to concentrate on what matters.
Taking cue from the first point, the second benefit or purpose of implementing OKRs foris a need for clarity of expectations and overall team and organizational alignment. In case of fast growing organizations, there is an overlapping of roles and responsibilities and a lack of clarity on expectations from each employee. This leads to lower than average outcomes, productivity and revenue growth and data backs the same.
97% of employees and executives believe lack of alignment within a team impacts the outcome of a task or project. Whereas, companies that regularly exceeded revenue goals were 2.3X more likely to report high levels of alignment.
By ensuring organization-wide goal visibility, OKRs help teams to decode what is expected out of each team member and their respective contribution towards achievement of the shared goals. Thus, increasing alignment and collaboration.
Finally, setting and implementing OKRs is often a collaborative process. Employees get involved in and participate during the entire OKR process and feel engaged in the same. This greater involvement and participation leads to deeper levels of engagement and ownership of key results which drive impact.
OKRs also enable employees to also gauge their performance and measure their progress in an effective manner. This motivates them to get more involved in achieving the common weekly, quarterly and annual goals. This higher level of engagement directly impacts key organizational parameters such as retention, productivity, profitability, etc.
The business case for OKRs is very clear. However, for companies that are scaling up, with limited bandwidth and competing priorities, often setting OKRs itself gets left behind due to other business priorities.
If an organization focuses on a manual approach to the OKR system, there are several steps which require a lot of time and effort including setting and writing, implementing, tracking, grading, evaluating and modifying OKRs.
Fortunately, today there are OKR tools in the market, which can help automate all of these aspects to help simplify the OKR journey. The right goal management software can help you maximize the realization of the return on investment for your OKRs. Following are the top five ways in which an OKR software makes a measurable difference on the bottomline —
First, an OKR tool can help organizations document or record the OKRs in a way that is visible and accessible to all. There is supporting evidence to show that what gets documented has a higher chance of being achieved, as what is out of sight is often out of mind.
Individuals are 42% more likely to achieve goals when they are physically recorded.
Therefore, the OKR tool can enable organizations to clearly define the business and team OKRs in a written manner which can be reflected on, seen again and again to create instant recall for employees.
OKR tools are great for creating alignment and accountability. On the alignment front, the OKR software can help achieve high levels of strategic alignment on what is the responsibility of each team member across organizations towards the key business goal achievement.
Highly aligned companies grow revenue 58% faster and are 72% more profitable than their misaligned counterparts.
The dashboard of a good OKR software can help you constantly gauge the level of goal achievement, ensure that team members are aligned on different phases as well as keep a track of when their responsibility is due. It creates high levels of transparency.
Moreover, greater alignment leads to high levels of accountability. Generally, since there is a lack of alignment on responsibilities, there is an accompanying lack of ownership and accountability, and most employees shirk away from taking accountability.
84% of the workforce describes itself as “trying but failing” or “avoiding” accountability, even when employees know what to fix.
A goal management software like SuperBeings allows you to integrate OKRs with regular meetings and check-ins to keep track of progress. Thus, driving a culture of accountability.
It is very common for companies to set OKRs and then evaluate them only at the end of the quarter/year. There is a lack of mid-term tracking which makes it difficult to gauge whether the progress is aligned with the key results or not.
40% of people that write down goals don’t check whether they’ve achieved them. Moreover, only 5.9% of companies communicate goals daily.
An OKR software can help you address this concern by facilitating day-to-day OKR progress tracking. A daily dashboard and history of 1:1 and team check-ins on OKRs, can help organizations track developments over time.
It can also help identify and resolve any performance issues that stand in the way of goal achievement preemptively. At the same time, even if organizations are tracking and monitoring OKR progress, doing so with a manual process is inefficient. An OKR tool can automate most of these processes to enable HR and people managers to spend more time on driving results.
Another major concern that organizations face when it comes to OKRs is being prepared and ready for the same. Many line managers and others struggle with writing effective OKRs. Many organizations believe setting OKRs once is enough. However, that is far from the truth.
Research says, companies that set performance goals quarterly can generate 31% more returns than those reassessing annually.
Using an OKR software can help eliminate all these challenges.
Finally, an OKR software can promote high levels of collaboration for goal achievement. For many organizations, the inability to collaborate leads to low levels of results, diminishing the ROI for OKRs.
86% of employees and executives cite lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures.
Using a good OKR software makes collaboration seamless by aligning cross-functional projects and tracking cumulative progress. Invariably, an increase in degree of collaboration is a direct ROI of an OKR tool which can create far reaching impact.
In this final section of the article, we will talk about the key parameters that can help you gauge the ROI of an OKR software. While the above mentioned are primary impact areas, most of them have a qualitative aspect to them.
Gauging the ROI requires backing of data points from employee experience and business results, which the following parameters can help explain.
Organizations should start by gauging whether or not transparency and alignment on goals has increased. This can be measured using employee pulse surveys to understand their opinion on how well they have visibility of goals and clarity on what they need to work towards. Therefore, the first ROI parameter for an OKR software is to identify the increase in level of transparency to ensure everyone is working in the same direction and there are no gaps or overlap in efforts.
The main purpose of an OKR tool is to facilitate the effective and efficient achievement of the goals set by an organization. Thus, the next parameter to measure ROI should revolve around the degree and time period of goal achievement.
You can start by comparing the degree of goal achievement by leveraging OKR grading to see if there is a significant improvement in percentage terms as compared to pre-OKR tool period. Second, it is important to gauge whether or not the goals/key results have been achieved in a shorter period of time or not. Since the OKR platform facilitates better alignment, collaboration, tracking, etc., it can help organizations achieve or realize the goals faster.
Third, there are several administrative overheads that accompany the setting and implementation of goals/OKRs. These include tracking, grading, etc. for managers and providing inputs on the part of employees. The ROI of an OKR software can be gauged by mapping whether or not these overheads come down.
The next parameter for ROI calculation is to measure the change or increase in revenue after the adoption of an OKR software. Since an OKR tool seeks to enable organizations to achieve their goals faster, cost effectively and to a greater extent, there should be an increase in the revenue realized.
According to Larry Page, co-founder, Google claims that “OKRs have helped lead us to 10X growth, many times over.”
Finally, gauging the value of employee parameters like retention/turnover, productivity, engagement, etc, can cumulatively be leveraged to capture the ROI of an OKR tool. There are several ways to gauge these workforce parameters, along with factors like eNPS, etc. which have a direct business impact. Calculating them can help measure the ROI of the OKR tool for an organization.
It is evident that adoption of an intelligent OKR software is not only good to have, but integral for organizational success. Using the right tool has a direct business impact which can be measured in numbers using the ROI parameters mentioned in this article.
There are both qualitative and quantitative aspects to measuring the ROI and a balanced approach to both can empower organizations to align individual performance with business goals.
If you are considering implementing the right OKR software in your business, try out SuperBeings free 21 day trial. Book today. (No credit card or commitment required)