The Reasons to Start a Conversation

Today’s workplace can sometimes be turbulent. People are running around aimlessly trying to accomplish too much, or too little. There is a growing disconnect between company goals and what its employees are accomplishing. What can managers do to mitigate this issue? Research shows that sitting down and talking to your teams will significantly reduce this lack of direction employees experience. A manager must create a loop on continuous feedback for their teams to be as successful as possible. Here are the main effects and suggestions can take to benefit from good feedback;

Engagement

A major negative impact the lack of continuous feedback creates on your employees is a misalignment of goals and priorities which may lead to dire consequences. This is shown by the fact that only 20% of employees strongly agree they talked to their managers in the last 6 months about the steps they must take to accomplish their goals. When employees do talk to their managers about these steps, they benefit greatly as they are 2.8 times more likely to be engaged. Employees need more feedback sessions than prescribed by most of corporate America, as shown that around 48% of the workforce only receives feedback once a year, while 26% less than that. This may have critical consequences on your organisation. This can cause even your best and most skilled employees to be disengaged. This is shown by the fact that 40% of workers are actively disengaged when they receive little to no feedback. When considering all these factors, one can conclude that most employees will benefit from a continuous feedback loop. Question is, how do we implement one?

Expectation Gap

One of the other issues employees face is the fact that the feedback they receive is not always impactful for them to take anything away from. Only 14% of employees strongly agree that the performance reviews they receive inspires them to improve, and only 26% of them strongly agree that the feedback they receive helps them do better work. This needs to change, and since feedback sessions are so rare in most organisations, they need to be better when they occur. For example, only 23% of employees strongly agree that their manager provides them meaningful feedback. Even though managers may think they employees know what to do, only 26% of employees strongly agree their managers continually clarify priorities they set. To fix that, managers don’t necessarily have to hold formal meetings with their employees. What they can do is hold smaller more informal conversations about how they are doing, which will benefit the employee, by giving them direction, and the manager themselves, by filling them in on what their employees are doing. This will directly address the fact that only 34% of employees strongly agree their managers know what projects or tasks they are working on.

 

Recognition

One step managers can take mitigate these negative effects is to start giving their employees recognition. 69% of employees say they would work harder if they felt their efforts were better recognized. Moreover, 78% said being recognised motivates them at their job. Which begs the question of why do managers not provide meaningful recognition to their employees? Meaningful recognition can take many forms and isn’t limited to highlighting their strengths or praising them after a job well done. The way in which you give them this feedback can also include listening to them when they come to you with problems rather than trying to fix them straight away. It may also be as simple as letting them clearly know what you expect in terms of deliverables and deadlines. The lack of this type of communication has consequences such as, employees might not feel appreciated at work, in fact 39% of all employees feel this way.

Strength finding

There are ways in which it can help you connect better with your teams and employees, but it can also be done in ways which create a counteractive effect. One way that seems to be effective is to give your team members feedback on their strengths. Strength feedback has been seen to decrease turnover rates by as much as 14.9% when compared to companies that do not do it. Further, teams where a manager provides strength feedback showed 12.5% greater productivity post-intervention compared to those who do not receive feedback. Additionally, teams with managers who give strength feedback showed 8.9% better profitability compared to their counterparts. This shows that good feedback has great effects to an organisation. That being said, only 19% of employees strongly agree that their manager recently reviewed their greatest success, even when those who strongly agree were 3.8 times more likely to be engaged. This means that to become a better manager, not only does one need to provide continuous feedback, but the right kind of feedback too.

Written By: Adam Fuchs, Communications Associate at Beaconforce.

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