Most people do their absolute best in a job when there’s a little help. Studies have shown that giving feedback to employees shows the support and encouragement they need to perform better at work.
Similarly, great athletes who make sports look so easy need people to observe and give them pointers – not only in the beginning, but at the professional level as well. There’s always a slew of coaches and trainers behind the scenes working with them to guide their way and ensure they reach their full potential.
Just as athletes need coaches to give input, many professional business people in the modern workplace derive priceless benefits from having a boss (or bosses) offer feedback for performance improvement, encouragement, and assessment on strengths, as well as weaknesses.
Continuous, constructive feedback affects several areas of the work environment positively. You’ll begin to see the positive changes below as you integrate consistent feedback into your employee relationships.
8 Benefits of Giving Feedback to Employees
1. Productivity Improvement
Maybe there’s been a time when you have either professionally or personally figured out a better way to complete a task, even though everyone else has accepted how it currently is.
Any new task can seem daunting or insurmountable to a person who has never done it, but after being shown how and given the right technique, the “aha” moment hits and things often start to fall into place.
Continuous feedback permits someone who is experienced to teach some of their knowledge and provide tips to a novice, and that in turn increases productivity in getting the job done. Not only will this improve the turnaround time on that particular activity or task, it will do so for all projects in the future as well.
2. Stronger Relationships
Chances are, at one job or another, you’ve had a boss who was standoffish and the divide between you and them was very clear. Clock in, work for 8 hours, and clock out, that’s it. Needless to say, you probably weren’t feeling fulfilled and had no desire to listen to any instruction that boss would give you.
That pattern stops here! Consistently giving feedback to employees allows management and employees to interact often. Suddenly, the boss and subordinate aren’t as much of a mystery to each other as they get to know one another better on a professional level.
More often than not, this practice increases office morale, which in turn improves task completion rates, employee satisfaction, and overall company culture.
3. More Employee Engagement
Just like you practice inbound marketing techniques to maintain customer relations, you need to do the same with your employees as well. Involved coaching allows you to take an active role in building employee relationships. If you show interest and investment toward your employees and their success, employees will feel acknowledged and appreciated. When you make a person, in this case an employee, feel valued, they’re more likely to invest themselves more thoroughly in their work.
Taking this hands-on approach often helps strengthen employee work quality. Everyone gets something out of this.
4. Higher Employee Retention Rates
According to a Tiny Pulse report (2015), only 25% of employees feel like they are getting the proper opportunities for career growth and development. The remaining 75% feel stuck and unsatisfied in their work environment. Eventually, if an employee continues to feel they have no room for growth, they’ll leave looking for greener pastures.
If managers are undeniably invested in helping their team through challenging times to ensure they reach their full potential, fewer people feel rejected and therefore are less likely to quit.
5. Eliminating Surprises During Reviews
If management stays completely uninvolved in the employees’ work, it can often be hard for workers to definitively know if the work they are doing is adequate, not enough, or above and beyond. Without feedback, someone may potentially be fired for not reaching certain goals when they didn’t even know that their production was slipping or, miss a hard-earned commendation when they didn’t know of their impressive contribution.
Ongoing coaching brings bosses and team members together, initiating conversation before an official performance review occurs. This prevents employees from essentially “working blind”.
Rather than holding off on a bad review, giving feedback to employees regularly brings any concerns to the table and gives space for employees to improve. This way, when review time comes, everyone is on the same page and no one, neither managers nor employees, get an unwanted surprise.
6. Introverted Employee Integration
Not everyone knows to offer important information that wasn’t asked for. But remember, some individuals are too shy, uncomfortable, or nervous to initiate conversation and ask necessary questions for themselves. These introverted types of employees may miss out on something highly relevant for their work.
Having programs in a company in which ongoing coaching is a high priority, those employees either get their questions answered without asking first, or feel more open to asking. They grow along with everyone else, and pick up new skills they otherwise might not have had an opportunity to learn or explore.
7. 2-Way Learning Street
You have to be a great coach in order to become a great leader. While it’s true that employees are the main learner in coaching relationships, managers stand to learn a lot as well. Since no one person looks at or does a job exactly the same, while you may be teaching an employee how to complete a task, they may be able to give you insight you can learn from as well.
In addition, ongoing coaching sharpens the managers’ skills by having them interact with a variety of diverse groups and personalities, broadening their perspectives and knowledge base.
8. New Ideas
Giving feedback is one of the best ways to facilitate conversation between bosses and team members. These discussions function like a think tank where everyone has different perspectives and ideas. Collaboration between several different types of people brings to light new ideas and conclusions which may have not been reached by any other method.
Not only does this diversity better the company, but it makes employees and managers feel more important to the success of the organization.
As so eloquently put by Isaac Asimov, an American writer and professor of biochemistry, only ignorant people think they know it all. Everyone has something to learn, regardless of how smart they are. New ideas and knowledge can sometimes originate from the unlikeliest of sources, so be open to everyone and everything.
When your employees feel listened to, valuable, and invested in, they tend to be more focused and productive. Often times, their commitment to their positions and company increases as well. Foster your brand loyalty at the core and watch it spread!
And who knows? Giving feedback to employees in the workplace might even bring in an unexpected, yet game-changing idea that will benefit you for years to come!
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