Expecting your employees to improve their performance without feedback is pretty much like a teacher expecting their students to pass examinations without actually teaching them. Providing employees with regular feedback is one of the most important aspects of running a successful business. Yet, many employers fail to provide effective feedback to their employees.
Studies have shown that a lack of adequate feedback leads to a rise in employee disengagement and a dip in their productivity level. According to a study, 98% of the employees will become disengaged at work if provided with little or no feedback. Moreover, it has been estimated that companies that provide regular employee feedback have 14.9% less employee turnover rates.
Importance of Providing Employee Feedback
So, why provide feedback to employees? Well for starters, as evident by the stats mentioned above, consistent feedback leads an increase in employee engagement and productivity. Employees these days crave for career growth. If you search online the reasons why an employee might quit a job, you would find that lack of professional development as one of the main reasons.
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As per a research published by Society of Human Resource Management, 70% of employees claim that feedback plays a critical part in their engagement. Also, regular feedbacks ensure employees that they are an important part of the organization. This boosts their confidence and lifts up their morale.
The main purpose of providing feedback is to help employees identify their strengths and weaknesses and help them in improving their quality of work. Since the performance of your employees directly impacts the state of your business, effective feedback can also be linked with increased profitability, higher revenues, and improved customer service.
How to provide effective feedback?
Here a few tips that can help you in utilizing feedback effectively,
Provide feedback timely
Late feedback is as good as no feedback. Many companies have yearly or quarterly employee performance reviews that may appear to be helpful but can actually be counterproductive. Think about it, an employee spends an entire year or a half doing something that he thinks is right, only to be told after a year that what he’s doing is wrong. Not only would that be discouraging but it may also irk the person. The key to effective feedback is timeliness. According to Trakstar, 43% of employees who are highly engaged receive feedback at least once a week. It doesn’t have to be a formal review; it just means that every time you observe an employee doing something you point that out right away rather than waiting. So let’s say that you observe that one of your employees is not being cooperative with others and you want to raise that concern. Instead of waiting, it’s better to immediately point that out so that the employee can rectify it as soon as possible.
Use Constructive criticism
Constructive criticism refers to a type of critique that includes both positive and negative attributes while providing actionable suggestions to the problems. While giving feedback to the employees, it’s important to provide constructive criticism otherwise your suggestions might be perceived negatively. When you just point out all the negatives without acknowledging the positives the other person feels attacked and starts feeling offended. Also, if a feedback doesn’t include appropriate solutions to the areas of concern, it’s practically useless. The best kind of feedback acknowledges the good work of the employees while pointing out the weak areas and includes practical and valuable suggestions. The idea is basically to help employees strengthen their strong points and work on their weaknesses.
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Avoid negative language
The most crucial aspect of an effective feedback is the use of appropriate language. You may have the best of intentions at heart but if your use of language is not right, all of it will go down in drain. Feedbacks can be taken out of context very easily. Instead of taking it as a form of constructive feedback, your employees may take it the wrong way if there is a use of negative language.
A great tip is to always start feedback with a positive note. Like for instance, when giving feedback, start by acknowledging the employees’ achievements or praising their performance and then talk about the matter of concern. Another great way is to adopt a more friendly approach rather than an authoritative one. So, rather than using phrases like ‘We want you to’ or ‘You should’, it’s better to use phrases like ‘I wish you could’ or ‘It’d be so great if you..’ or ‘Wouldn’t it be better’. The more boss-like you sound the greater are the chances of your feedback being taken negatively.
Hear them out as well
In order to make feedbacks effective, it is important to hear the other side of the story as well. Many employers are eager to evaluate the employees and criticize them, but a few are willing to listen to them as well. According to Dan Bobenski, a leadership management expert, many managers are actually afraid of listening to their employees. He further states that the lack of effective listening can cost companies a million of dollars.
In a research study by Deloitte, it was pointed out that when employees’ concerns are heard a positive and thriving workplace culture is developed that promotes employee engagement and increased productivity. So, before handing out your feedback, listen to what your employees have to say because it is a huge possibility that their negative performance is because of your policies and management. Besides, when you listen to your employees, they will listen to you as well.
The best way to hear your employees’ concerns is through surveys and polls. A quick pulse survey is a great way to measure your employees’ growth by taking their opinions into account. With the help of Workspee, you can regularly conduct online surveys and provide quick and effective feedback to your employees.Employee feedback is one of the most important yet underutilized strategies for employee growth and professional development. However, once you master the art of providing meaningful and effective feedback, not only will your employees’ performance improve your overall business will also succeed.