Any manager, business owner, or company leader will tell you they would like to improve employee engagement. Employee engagement, after all, is a vital part of any company’s success. However, this is much easier said than done. Performance reviews are old fashion and typically make employees feel like they’re on the spot. In most cases, employees leave a review feeling worse than they did before. So what can business leaders do to help increase and improve employee engagement in the workplace?
It all starts with one simple word: feedback.
Feedback Is the Key to Success
The key to helping improve employee engagement is giving more informal feedback. Feedback is best when it’s informal because it can comein the precise moment that it’s needed. It prevents the anxiety that comes with planned or scheduled feedback that occurs during performance reviews. Employees don’t have to feel awkward about the feedback they receive because it’s spontaneous, rather than scripted. Frequent informal feedback engages employees and helps them feel respected.
Even Constructive Criticism Works
Of course, not all feedback is positive, but when given in a constructive and caring manner, even feedback done for correction is beneficial to the employee. Additionally, it helps the leader. That’s because when employees feel valued and respected, they are much happier. And happy employees are productive employees. So how do you implement a plan to provide more frequent, informal feedback? You can start by changing the culture of your company by aligning organizational goals with individual goals. You can also individualize development and performance. Lastly, frequently review progress and give feedback on the results.
The Timing Is Important
One of the most important aspects of feedback is giving it in the moment. When someone receives feedback at the very moment it’sneeded it usually comes across as helpful. When feedback is delayed it feels more like criticism for past mistakes.Research from Gallup shows several positive outcomes from leaders giving timely feedback on a daily basis. For example, employees are “six times more likely to agree they are motivated to do outstanding work when given daily feedback.” They are also “six times more likely to agree that the feedback is meaningful.” And lastly, they are “three times more likely to be engaged at work.”
How to Give Feedback Appropriately
Giving the proper kind of feedback is also important. Not all feedback is a pat on the back. That’s why it’s also vital to give feedback the right way. You can do this by first creating a trusting relationship with those to whom you give feedback. Secondly, focus on the positive first. This starts the feedback process on the right foot and helps employees feel valuable and important.
Always be specific. Don’t just say, “you did a good job.” Tell them what they did well and why it was helpful. Keep feedback short and sweet. Too much feedback can be overwhelming and they might forget something important. Make sure you give positive feedback and your constructive criticism are equal. In other words don’t share two positives and seven negatives. Try to equal them out, letting the individual know what you liked and what you would like to see more of.