Holding on to employees, and retaining them is an undisputable problem and seems to increase on a daily basis! Employee turnover is growing globally and most companies find themselves compromising on the quality and qualifications of their employees.
This challenge has led to an increased emphasis on effective and cost-efficient ways to retain employees. Many companies are exploring non-financial options to retain their desirable employees since offering more money has not proven to be an effective long-term strategy.
The efficient and forward-looking employees want to make an impact on their workplace, get recognized for it and want their part to be meaningful in the big picture. They also want to work for businesses that make a difference. Applying means to get feedback from employees is one way in which employees feel valued. It makes them feel that their opinions are incorporated in the business’s strategy.
What is Employee Feedback?
Feedback is the report of any activity or process or its results. It can be of several types. Employee feedback is the process of getting feedback from your staff about their tasks. This is ideally a process of taking continuous feedback, making positive modifications based on the feedback received, and then getting further feedback about the changes that are implemented.
Employee feedback can effectively e used to improve the internal operating flows of an organization. These involve the internal processes, operations, and functions of a business. Managers and business owners can use employee feedback and suggestions to improve the company’s functioning. This is a positive feedback process which results in effective internal improvements. Its end goal is better employee engagement and retention, but it also improves an organization’s working and efficiency.
Employee feedback can also be customer-centric and focus wholly on customer criticism, complaints, and feedback. In this feedback and reviews are collected from various channels, including social media, surveys, emails, etc., and employee performance is assessed on this basis. This negative feedback usually results in an enhanced customer experience and good PR for the company.
However, this is only effective for employee engagement if it is skillfully merged with the positive feedback process to link customer satisfaction with employee feedback.
How Employee Feedback is an Employee Engagement Strategy
Employee feedback is quickly becoming one of the best ways to improve work environments, develop positive work culture as well as ensuring that employees feel understood, valued, and motivated.
Employee feedback usually involves a system that gives employees the freedom to express their opinions and concerns. These are taken into consideration to make visible improvements. However, these feedback loops need to have a clear purpose to be effective.
With a clear purpose, employee feedback can be an effective tool to enrich employee engagement. For example, your company wants feedback on new customer facilities to be introduced for prime customers. You can set up a trial session where employees can volunteer to try out these new facilities and provide targeted feedback on their experience.
Based on employee feedback, the marketing team can make further modifications to improve the facilities and experience for customers. The same employees can be asked to review the facilities after the changes have been made and give more feedback.
A similar example can be used for employee benefits like gym memberships and other perks. Employees can try it out and give their feedback.
Such feedback scenarios are a win-win for both the company and its employees. The company is confident of introducing facilities that will be well-received and used by their customers or employees. The employees participating in reviewing and refining these facilities feel like their opinions and feedback matter. They can see a real-time implementation of the feedback that they give.
This is just one way that employee feedback can be implemented. Other examples of employee feedback include:
- Improving communications between managers and their teams.
- Improving work conditions through formal employee surveys and exit interviews.
- Getting customer reviews on products and services.
- Executing effective employee feedback systems
Using Regular Employee Feedback to Improve Employee Retention and Growth
Having an employee feedback system is a two-way system that allows businesses to also give their employees feedback on their work, performance and how the individual is doing in their career track.
Using regular employee feedback is useful in generating employee evaluations to help improve work quality. Employees can present their current projects for collaboration and critique from their colleagues and managers. feedback is sent to the project team. There’s also a wall at the company where people post concepts they are working on, again looking for thoughts.
With a steady stream of feedback from peers, employees can participate in regular (and frequent) reviews with team leaders or mentors to make sure they are on track with their career goals.
The Limits of Employee Feedback for Ensuring Growth
In an ideal world, employees will take feedback about their performance as a well-intentioned measure to help them succeed. The goal is that they’ll use it to improve their performance and stay on track for their career objectives.
But that doesn’t always happen.
There are some employees who accept all forms of feedback and learn from it. There are other employees who become very defensive about feedback on their work and their general performance.
Those employees that do not appreciate or are unable to handle such regular-feedback work environments, either change their work style or eventually leave. This makes employee feedback an effective tool for filtering out employees that do not fit in with the workplace culture.
It saves businesses from investing time and effort with employees that are not worth retaining over the long run.
As with any other process, implementing employee feedback loops is most effective when it follows a particular system. Although, seeking feedback towards continuous improvement is an art that can be learned!
Sadia Zaheer holds a Masters in Business Administration from IBA, Karachi. After working in several financial institutions in Client Management, Corporate Lending, Islamic Banking and Product Management she jumped careers to pursue a career in writing.
She is a Finance, Business and HR Development writer with four years of experience. She reads a lot and takes care of her multiple cats to remain calm.