It’s not about what you want to hear, it’s what you need to hear.
Feedback is a very important factor in organizations nowadays. It triggers employee engagement and boosts morale. It’s even more important in age groups below 30, considering millennials are full of fresh and innovative ideas that they want to share with the world. All they want is attention from their superiors and appreciation for their initiative.
A simple and casual nod of appreciation towards an employee will no longer suffice. They don’t want a pat on the back, they want to provide and receive effective feedback. Doing that, everyone can understand their own incompetencies and appreciate collaborated efforts.
Leaders need to lead by example. Employees will only take something seriously if their superior does. The door to free communication needs to stay open at all time. But in order for the employee feedback to be effective, it needs to be completely honest. You need your employees in a position where they can provide honest input without hesitation and receive a proper response to it.
Here are some ways you can use feedback to generate positive outcomes:
Train your managers
There’s no way that employees are going to take this seriously if their manager isn’t. The entire process is going to be a waste of time if the employees suspect that the manager isn't serious about it.
Most of the times managers are even trained properly to conduct such reviews. Managers need to understand how important the process is. They need to be given responsibility and held accountable for these sessions. By coaching and training your managers to use the best strategies, you will make very productive use of these assessments.
Transparency is really important in such assessments. In order for employees to take it seriously, it is really important for them to understand it. If an employee is reviewed merely on a low rating, he might have something to say against it. The goals, objectives and the process need to be put forward with full transparency. If the same employee knows that he is reviewed for low attendance, he can do something about it. If the process is in any way confusing, it will only lead to unreliable results. If the employees understand what the process can achieve if conducted properly, they will provide their best to see it through.
Your team members need the reassurance that their views will be confidential. You want them to be as honest as possible. So make the survey anonymous to increase their sense of security.
As a leader, you have the responsibility to maintain this psychological safety within your organization. Some issues are more personal and sensitive than others to be communicated freely. Regardless of the nature of these issues, if they are affecting the productivity of your workplace, you need to address them. Employees often fear persecution for voicing their concerns. Provide your employees with the power of anonymity. Implement Your Safe Hub in your organization, special communication software that protects such employees with the power of anonymity.
Most of the times, the feedback process generates anxiety among employees. The reason for that is the one-way communication it turns into. Every time with the performance reviews in the office, it’s the manager talking and reviewing the employee while they sit there in silence. This does not look good when the objective is mutual growth and understanding of each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Without employee engagement, feedback is useless. It needs to be a two-way street in order to be effective. Employees should also be able to provide feedback for their managers. This will encourage a mutual understanding of inconsistencies and promise mutual growth.