Create a quality feedback cycle to help employees feel heard. A successful feedback cycle improves employee retention by driving company loyalty and promoting a positive work environment. These 14 tips offer a variety of ways to solicit better feedback and ensure that feedback leads to results.
1. Schedule One-on-One Conversations
Don't let the annual review be the only time you talk directly with your staff. Instead, set up a meeting every few months to find out where workers hope to go and how to facilitate their development.
2. Make Feedback Less Intimidating
If you're afraid to ask for feedback because of a fear of negative reviews, establish a process that includes less personalized assessments through surveys and panels as well as more personal conversations.
3. Create a Culture of Transparency
A culture that fosters secrets leads to distrustful employees who are unsure where they stand. Keep your feedback cycle open to encourage everyone to participate.
4. Listen Actively
If you're always too busy to listen, employees will stop talking. Devote your full attention to the person speaking to you, and acknowledge his words in a way that shows understanding.
5. Watch for Signs of Burnout
Spend time with your team, and keep an eye out for those workers who seem dissatisfied. Talk to those employees, working to improve their job experience.
6. Be Direct
Ask workers directly if there is anything you can do to help. Most people are quick to speak up when asked in this manner.
7. Improve Manager Training Programs
Remember that employees leave managers, not companies. Develop quality leadership training programs to teach your managers how to work with people. Include methods for soliciting feedback and responding to that feedback.
8. Implement Regular 360-Degree Feedback for Leaders
Feedback that includes input from superiors, peers and staff offers a well-rounded look at performance. Extend the reach to clients and the community if applicable. This style of feedback lets employees participate without being in the spotlight.
9. Appoint an Employee Advocate
An employee advocate gathers aggregate data and presents it to higher-ups without fear of retribution. Adding an employee advocate to your feedback cycle helps enable disgruntled employees to speak up.
10. Don't Forget Your Best Performers
Avoid spending most of your time on the weaker members of your team. Instead, be sure to give top performers your attention too, soliciting and acting on feedback to keep them happily in your employment.
11. Increase Opportunities for Growth
Provide all of your employees with suitable training and development opportunities.
12. Express Gratitude
Let your employees know that you appreciate the feedback they provide. Follow up after any formal feedback session to show that concerns are heard.
13. Welcome Change
Expect your feedback cycle to inspire change. Change is necessary for growth.
14. Solve Problems
Finding solutions for problems is an essential part of the feedback cycle. Address employee concerns in a timely manner.
Focus on all three parts of the feedback cycle — soliciting input, coming up with solutions and implementing change — for a growth-centered workplace that is ready for the future. The best feedback cycle is sure to cause some instability as you work towards improvement, but the result of a more content workforce and better employee retention is worth the effort.
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