Today’s businesses are learning that feedback loops between managers and employees is the secret to employee retention. Studies show that employees that are happy in their jobs result in better performance, positive work cultures, and higher company success in the marketplace. And the key to their engagement is a good feedback strategy that allows them to both receive performance reviews and provide their own ideas for the company.
Do Perks Work?
Perks and rewards have their place in businesses, but they are not enough. It’s great to have a cool workspace, monetary bonuses, or free lunches. But those perks can be replicated in any workplace. Companies expect staff to appreciate these incentives, but they often miss that what employees value the most: that the company appreciate them, too.
What employees want is for their work to improve the business and drives progress forward. They want to know and feel that their contributions have value to the company through both task completion and decision-making participation.
Employee Feedback Loops Yield Greater Engagement
Communication has become the number one factor in higher employee engagement and success. The free flow of information and ideas creates incentive for employees to produce, achieve, and stay.
Annual or semi-annual performance reviews are falling by the wayside as a means of feedback between employees and management. They often leave employees in the dark on their performance for too long, and employers are clueless as to why productivity and morale might be down.
High-performing employees don’t want to wait for encouragement. They prefer to get on with the business of improving their work, furthering their goals, and helping the company succeed. But in order to do all that, they need to be heard and know that their input will be valued and utilized.
Feedback loops don’t operate for one or two hours of a year. They are part of an integrated communication process that works on a more frequent schedule to meet employer and employee expectations for teamwork.
FeedBack Loops Enhance Communication
Feedback works in both directions: a loop from staff to management and vice-versa. Effective feedback loops share similar structures. Here are four key elements:
Listen and Learn
Establish a process for employees to speak about their ideas and concerns. Give it some structure, but leave room for flexibility.
Soliciting information isn’t about employees listing their accomplishments; it’s finding out what works in your business and what needs improvement.
Assess and Analyze
Listen to feedback with an open mind. Use the information you gain to notice similar issues among staff, problem areas you might have overlooked, or clarify existing issues that might be impeding performance.
Plan and Execute
Once you’ve identified an issue, develop an action plan to address it. Dealing with issues quickly and directly shows your employees you listen, care, and want successful outcomes.
Communicate and Share
Don’t leave your staff in the dark about your own ideas. Tell them your reactions and your plan to fix an issue. By keeping staff in the loop, they will feel that their original concerns have value and will be more engaged to help with the resolution.
A staff that knows their ideas and concerns will be heard and acted upon has a higher level of job satisfaction. Active communication produces a level of trust between management and staff that helps them focus on performance and creativity instead of frustration and isolation. When employees know they can be heard, their perception of the company as a great place to work will lead to lower turnover and enhanced performance.
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