Managers and business leaders are perennially in the process of identifying tools and practices to boost employee engagement. However, constructive employee feedback is generally out of the picture. While most managers say if a particular deliverable was up to the mark or not, they rarely give the reasoning behind the same. Put simply, employee feedback is 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 feedback at least once a week. Additionally, 75% of employees prefer their feedback as early as possible.
The value in employee feedback
There are various reasons which make employee feedback a critical tool for organizational success and effectiveness, here are a few of them:
- Clarifies expectations and path ahead: Firstly, offering feedback helps employees understand what is expected out of them. These expectations help them charter out a clear plan for themselves. It helps employees understand where they are going wrong and gives them the chance to perform better. Most importantly, it helps them create a course of action and improvement.
- Important for individual and organizational health: Unless managers offer employee feedback, it is unfair to expect employees to improve their performance. Sluggish or no improvement in performance hurts both the employee’s morale and confidence as well as the organization’s top line. Invariably, this is defeating both for employee as well as organizational health. Employee feedback bridges this gap and allows employees to play on their strengths and work on their weaknesses to boost their performance and bring in greater productivity.
- Decreased attrition: Lack of feedback is often cited as a reason by employees for leaving an organization. A study by Gallup showed that turnover rates are 14.9% lower in employees who receive feedback than those who don’t. All managers and business leaders know the cost of employee turnover. Thus, employee feedback can be an effective way to save millions incurred during onboarding, training and getting new hires up the curve.
- Opens up conversations and communication: Finally, employee feedback opens up channels for communication and conversation between employees and their managers. Not only does this add to great relationship building which boosts employee engagement but also enables managers to understand employee personality and ensure effective mentoring and guidance.
Role of managers in employee feedback
It goes without saying that managers are the flag bearers for employee feedback. More often than not, they directly interact with the employees and understand their personality. Invariably, this makes them the custodian of employee intel. This consequently results in them having the right approach to delivering feedback constructively. Organization and business leaders today need to promote manager coaching to deliver feedback to ensure performance effectiveness and organizational success.
The buck doesn't stop here
While acknowledging the importance of employee feedback is the first step, it is by no means the end. Put simply, the focus should not only be on offering feedback, but offering it in the right way which can be acted upon. Those who give feedback must do so with some clear pointers on what could be better and what went well. Additionally, focus should be on the long term goals rather than short term tasks and projects. Stay tuned to this space as we bring to you quick hacks on delivering constructive feedback.