Employees are Starving for Feedback: A Little-Known Secret for Retaining Talent
If you are currently a manager, you are pressured on many fronts. What you
may not realize is that your team members are starving for the information
they need to do better work. Employees of all ages and ability levels want more feedback. In Gallup’s massive longitudinal study on the employee engagement of workers at all levels and across the globe, there was no more important indicator of satisfaction and willingness to stay on the job than whether or not someone in their workplace (usually a manager) had talked with them recently about how they were doing on the job.
The most basic need on the job: Knowing how you’re doing
A quarter of global employees in the same survey reported that they received no feedback at all from their supervisors, and this was a major factor in their workplace dissatisfaction.
It would be easy to assume that the only kind of feedback employees want is pats on the back and celebrations for every move they make, but this is untrue. In a study of more than 3,600 employees, 51 percent of them said that they received too little constructive criticism from their boss, and 65 percent of those who did receive feedback, either positive or negative, said they didn’t receive enough information to know what to repeat or change.
“What do I need to do better? Tell me now.”
People want to know exactly what they need to do to perform well on the job.
I had a recent conversation with Tony, who was on the verge of firing a recently hired technical leader. We chatted more about the impact of losing Terri, and Tony became intrigued with the idea of trying everyday feedback—frequent, honest, and helpful feedback conversations—with Terri and everyone else in his management team.
The power of offering frequent feedback
Everyday feedback places you in partnership with each of the people you manage and orients you toward your common goal of their improvement and development. Tony gained insight into why he had avoided giving feedback and learned new skills for initiating and continuously offering feedback, and Terri and the other team members very much appreciated it. Tony asked Terri for feedback about how he could improve his support and his overall leadership. Both began acting on the suggestions from one another. After a few months, Tony realized that all of his relationships with team members had become more positive, open, and trusting. Key decisions were being made faster and with beneficial results for the company.
For more tips and strategies read the best-selling Feeback book: The Feedback Imperative: How to Give Feedback to Speed Up Your Team's Success.