Without these three elements, employees are bound to quit sooner than you can imagine. Focusing too much on strategy and not so much on what employees actually want can end up making zero difference.
There are times when employees go above and beyond their capacity at the workplace. This can be either to finish their own work or helping build a team. If such talented employees making the most impact aren’t recognized by their managers, they will gradually lose their passion to work hard and deliver great results.
Employees have a deep desire for recognition, with 93% hoping to be recognized at least once a quarter. A lack of recognition can cause high levels of disengagement. 76% of millennials said that they would leave their jobs if they felt underappreciated. Another study by Dan Ariely also found that we desire more money to do tasks we are not appreciated for.
Recognition does not always mean spending lots of money to get gift cards or heavy bonuses. Even a slight pat on the back or some positive feedback once in a while can work wonders. Regular feedback gives employees the sense that their progress is being monitored and they are allowed to grow. Employees will be motivated to continue working hard when they feel like they matter. 40% of employees would put more energy into their work if they were recognized more often.
Now that we know the positive effects of regular recognition in the form of feedback, the question is how can managers turn this into a regular affair. The answer is simple – feedback needs to be made an integral and regular part of the culture of an organization, be repeated in order to make it a habit. These will begin with tiny dedicated steps being taken every single day to change behaviors.
Technology can be a great way to make this process of regular feedback more spontaneous and practically doable. Tools that allow not only feedback from managers but also from peers such as a 360-degree performance review tool can also be a great adoption. If an employee or a teammate does exceptionally well and achieves a goal, does a great job in closing a sale or gives a rock-solid presentation, it should act as a cue for people in the team to automatically send out good thoughts or praises.
Another important thing to remember here is to be genuine and descriptive. Giving feedback just for the sake of giving it by using words such as “good work” or “nice move” can give out the impression that you don’t mean what you’re saying. Giving employee feedback will only make sense if you show some genuine concern in making the receiver improve in the areas concerned. Without an inherent interest in ensuring that your subordinate actually improves his/her performance, there is actually no point in giving employee feedback. Like it was highlighted in the beginning of this article, having an authentic and unadulterated interest in the growth of the person you are giving feedback to will be enough for you to be honest and appreciative of the receiver’s emotions. And this will chart out the path for a quality feedback session.
Feedback cannot be vague with ambiguous adjectives such as “great work,” “inspiring,” “not up to the mark” and the like. The feedback needs to be very specific and substantiated with achievements. Ambiguous feedback can be interpreted in a lot of ways. This is why you need to make your point very clearly so that there is no room for confusion. For example, you can say, “You did very well at the conference. We have more than 100 people wanting to talk to us now. I want you to discuss how you achieved this with the rest of the team tomorrow morning to motivate them.”
The great thing about positive feedback is that it is an intangible reward in itself. We need to make it a habit in organizations to help in employee retention.