employees Archives - TAB Corporate

The Right Feedback Can Boost Employee Retention

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Among the many skills a CEO or business owner should possess is the ability to provide constructive, meaningful feedback. Employees at every level of an organization want to do the best job possible, a goal that can’t be fully achieved without input from those in charge.

Providing the right type of feedback, within the context of job expectations and responsibilities, not only dramatically improves an individual’s work performance, but helps build trusting relationships and a willingness to excel—crucial elements in job satisfaction and enduring employee retention.

Millennial employees, for example, “thrive on feedback,” particular when it’s offered frequently and in a proactive, constructive way. It’s important to them that their supervisors feel they’re doing a good job and they’re open to critiques that enable them to grow in their jobs.

Here are tips to keep in mind as you hone your feedback skills:

It’s up to you to make it work. No one enjoys hearing about all the ways in which their job performance falls short. Therefore, as Workoplis notes, it’s up to the person providing feedback to “recognize the challenges of the conversation, and help the employee get what they need” out of the interaction. If, when the conversation ends, the employee leaves “without any gained knowledge or insight, that’s your mistake, not theirs.”

Determine what you want to achieve. Preparing before undertaking a “feedback conversation” can significantly increase the chances of success. This preparation should focus on feedback that can directly influence the outcome you desire on the employee’s part.

Make sure you enter into the conversation armed with specific feedback. Use language the other person will understand and find relevant. This way, your feedback is likely to have the desired effect.

Offer objective feedback. One of the issues associated with feedback in the workplace is that a leader’s preconceptions or emotions can get tangled up with what he or she wants to get across. A different approach, known as “pure feedback,” seeks to eliminate any inherent bias in the conversation.

Pure feedback is the “descriptive, non-judgmental delivery of objective, verifiable information,” says Business2Community. This type of feedback addresses behavior or performance in a “just the facts” manner, enabling “the receiver to process personal feelings that come from judgment or evaluation,” rather than getting stuck on what seems like a derogatory view from the person offering the feedback.

Make it a conversation, not a monologue. Feedback is more readily absorbed if the recipient doesn’t feel like he or she is being subjected to a monologue or sermon. During the conversation, invite the employee to share their thoughts or reactions, and to raise any operational issues they’re experiencing that might contribute to an unsatisfactory performance. This approach makes the experience feel more collaborative and less punitive.

Forget the “feedback sandwich.” For a long time, it was believed that “sandwiching” the critique of an individual’s performance between “slices” of praise was an effective feedback approach. More recently, leadership experts like Alicia Cohn contend that this approach is “a cop-out designed to make the feedback-giver feel more comfortable rather than to enlighten the feedback receiver.”

Instead, work on offering praise on an ongoing basis—not just during a quarterly feedback conversation. This makes it far easier to set aside part of that conversation for a look at where performance is falling short, coupled with concrete advice on how to improve the situation.

Want to learn more about offering feedback that contributes to employee retention? Register to listen to a free webinar offered by Marty O’Neill of TAB Baltimore/Washington on “Grooming Engaged, Entrepreneurial Employees.”

 

 

Use Technology to Enhance Your Employee Communications Efforts

Technology and communication

If improving communications with your employees was on your 2018 list of resolutions, there are many ways to leverage digital technology to achieve this goal. Businesses that still rely on a “suggestion box” in the break room or some similarly out-of-date mechanism should consider adopting current technology to make employees feel more involved and part of the team.

Array of Digital Resources

The good news is, your employees are already using the types of digital resources you can employ in your efforts to improve communications. These resources include:

  • Texting
  • Chat rooms
  • Video
  • Social media

Instant messaging is so prevalently used by people (from front-line employees to senior executives) that it should be considered a “go-to” method for communicating important and timely information to your team. It’s also a useful tool for staying in touch with your remote workers.

Cloud-based mobile technology facilitates a deeper sense of engagement among employees. Using communications tools in this area usually includes the benefits of enhanced data security. Also, cloud-based technology can be easily upgraded as new digital improvements become available.

Video platforms represent a particularly appealing way of improving communications. When you, as CEO or business owner, want to relay a message for the entire company, what better way than through video, where people can see and hear you simultaneously? No other mode offers the same kind of “face-to-face” authenticity – especially beneficial if you’re comfortable in front of a camera and know how to express yourself in terms your employees will best understand.

Getting Employees on Board

To make this approach work, it’s critically important to design a comprehensive plan that introduces and familiarizes employees with the communications technology you deem best suited for your culture. According to ITProPortal, such a plan should include “training programs, leadership workshops, counseling, best practices resources, templates, and customized advice and guidance.”

This may sound burdensome at first, but when employees “get” that you want to implement a streamlined system of communications – and that you genuinely care about interacting with them – you’re likely to see a marked improvement in morale and, possibly, long-term employee retention.

Employee Solutions to Business Problems

Equally valuable are opportunities for team members to communicate with each other. For example, those involved in a new initiative – or tasked with finding solutions to a pressing business problem – will greatly benefit from being able to bounce ideas off each other in real-time.

Remember, your employees are the ones most intimately involved in the sales and distribution of your products or services. Frequently, they’re also the ones who regularly interact with customers, so they have a deeper understanding of the strengths and shortcomings of your offerings. If they’re asked to devise a solution, the chance to collaborate quickly and clearly through internal communications tools may result in just the solution your business needs to move forward.

At the same time, this communications platform should involve supervisors or managers as well. Great employee ideas can wither and die without managerial input and/or advocacy.

As Fast Company notes, “It’s important that new concepts are not just discussed among peers.” Managers should “be involved and feel connected to those suggestions from the very beginning,” because their advocacy can help ensure that those at the top will “implement the best ideas.”

Businesses armed with effective internal communications are often more successful at attracting and recruiting the quality talent your company seeks as well. That’s another reason to examine your various communications options and put the best system in place, in order to keep your employees productive and able to share key ideas with one another.

Want to learn more about the technology and communications? Find out if a TAB Board is right for you!