Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Feedback and Employees Retention

I am pleased to welcome Rae Steinbach, author of today's blog on feedback and employee satisfaction.

Feedback is the Key to Keeping Employees:  Here’s How to Use It

Happy employees increase a company’s bottom line, help build great culture, and boost business performance. While perks are part of showing employee appreciation for great work, effective communication far outweighs material gifts when it comes to increasing employee engagement and happiness.

Perks, though positive in nature, will also be forgotten much more quickly than strong workplace relationships, meaningful one on one interactions, and great communication. Here’s how to incorporate feedback into your management strategy for better retention and satisfaction in the workplace.

Reap the Benefits of Employee Feedback Loops

Employee feedback loops have been acknowledged as inspiring and incentivizing staff to always give their all and open up blocked channels of communication throughout a company. Regular, meaningful  communication builds a healthy and energizing workplace culture – the thing known to be the cornerstone of employee engagement and retention.

Annual performance reviews with structured feedback sessions are simply not enough. The irregularity breeds a disconnect between teams and managers rather than building strengths. At best, they are considered a waste of time. At worst, they are a chokehold to employee motivation and introduce awkwardness to the relationship between teams and their leaders.

Great leaders communicate consistently with their teams throughout the year, ask meaningful and searching questions, and solicit feedback from employees about their own performance. Great teams understand that there is always room for improvement and relish the challenge of driving things forward for the business. They’re also able to provide constructive feedback to leadership and create an open dialogue for the benefit of organizational development.

Four Elements of Great Employee Feedback Loops

Feedback loops are reciprocal. Thus, they require good questions and active listening. They also need to spark action and reaction to be effective. Without these elements, they will not provide the necessary results for your leaders and the business as a whole.

1. Ask the Right Questions

Provide structure for feedback collection by asking the right questions, and make sure there is room for staff to elaborate and provide open-ended responses that will expose blind spots of the business. The right questions may be tough but will get to the heart of any problems.

2. Analyze

Go through responses objectively and define trends that may not be immediately obvious. By taking time to interpret feedback, you are setting yourself up for better results when you take the next step, which is acting upon the results.

3. Take Necessary Action

Productive feedback loops will highlight things that need doing, so do them, and do them straight away. Don’t just talk about what needs to be done, or plan for changes. Recognize what actions need to be taken and then act accordingly.

4. Communicate

The whole point of the ‘loop’ is to show your team that you have heard and are taking action on their feedback to you, just as you expect them to the same with the feedback you give to them.

Let them know their needs are being addressed and how this is being done. This lets them know that you take their thoughts seriously and will strengthen the feedback loop for next time.
Be Empowered By the Feedback

Great feedback loops allow your business to recognize issues before they become problems and act before they become crippling. They also empower your teams and company to become agile in response to changes through better communication. Employees feel supported, heard, and valued which enables them to understand and support problem solving methods better.

When all is said and done, looking after your greatest asset – your employees – will create a workplace culture that promotes open communication in support of your business’s bottom line.

Investing energy into building an environment that promotes transparent, supportive communication will help in the retention of top performing employees and protect your future profits.

Contributor:  Rae Steinbach is a graduate of Tufts University with a combined International Relations and Chinese degree. After spending time living and working abroad in China, she returned to NYC to pursue her career and continue curating quality content. Rae is passionate about travel, food, and writing, of course, and is a contributor to 15Five.

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