Recruitment 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.”

 

 

6 Tips on Turning Great Employees into Outstanding Leaders

The current job market is so tight and competitive, why make it any more difficult to recruit and retain the right people for your company? Too many businesses focus on getting bodies into open positions, but neglect grooming new hires (as well as veteran employees) for positions of greater responsibility and leadership.

A focus on employee development, with a view towards turning great employees into outstanding leaders, not only benefits a business in the long run, it can serve as a highly attractive recruitment strategy for future new hires.

Here are tips on employee development that can yield strong new leadership for your company:

  1. Offer continuous feedback. An employee destined for a leadership role can benefit enormously from ongoing feedback. Explore different “feedback loop” options, from regular one-on-one meetings to in-depth quarterly sessions to discuss performance and objectives. Frame your feedback in ways that emphasize the value this employee brings to the organization, with constructive comments on how to fix what might not be working.
  2. Serve as a mentor or choose one within the company. Nothing contributes more to employee development than a well-structured mentorship process. Of course, not every CEO or business owner has time to devote to this responsibility, but another seasoned executive or supervisor might be perfect for the role. In addition to accelerating the employee’s learning curve, mentorship offers plenty of cross-training experiences, which again help build leadership skills.
  3. Instill a sense of commitment and authority. Empowering employees to make specific decisions about their jobs can go a long way towards leadership development. This signifies trust in their maturity and decision-making abilities. It also engenders a sense of “ownership” in where the business is headed, a giant step towards keeping that employee creative and engaged.
  4. Support networking activities. A budding leader should get to know as much as possible about all aspects of the organization. Towards that end, says talent management expert Andre Lavoie, encourage “networking within the workplace during lunch hours or at after-work events.” From there, support their networking efforts with industry representatives beyond your workplace walls. This teaches employees “how to forge powerful connections, initiate conversations with strangers and act with the confidence of a leader.”
  5. Formalize growth opportunities within the company. An employee who sees a bright future with your business is bound to get discouraged if he or she feels they’ve been passed over for a higher-level position. If you’re genuinely committed to employee development, let the entire workforce know that, as new positions open, your company’s policy is to first try and hire from within. Bringing a talented, experienced person up through the ranks, when he or she possesses hard-earned knowledge about how the business works and how best to serve the customers, can be another powerful weapon in your employee retention arsenal.
  6. Offer advanced work-related training. An employee being groomed for leadership will probably have certain “deficits” that need to be addressed, from soft skills like communications to more advanced knowledge of business operations. Providing financial assistance and other support for those employees to attend workshops, seminars or other training sessions can significantly boost his or her knowledge base—leading to a more confident, well-rounded individual.

Every business depends on ensuring that a new generation of leaders is built into the system. By actively promoting opportunities for employee development, both the individual and the business benefit—a win-win for everyone involved.

For free information on how to grow and motivate your team, we invite you to download our white paper, “How to Effectively Use Incentives to Motivate Your Employees.”