Understanding the Benefits of Continuous Feedback
Employee productivity is innately tied to employee engagement and motivation. Yet increasing employee engagement continues to be an elusive achievement for many organizations. This is often due to a problem with performance management methodology.
Traditional models of performance management, such as the annual review, are outdated and do not work well to increase engagement among the newest generation of workers. Around two-thirds of Millennial workers feel “in the dark” about how their work performance is perceived, according to a recent TriNet survey, and 62% often feel “blindsided” by their current performance reviews.
These workers want more. They want regular–if not instant–feedback. In fact, simply holding regular meetings can more than double employee engagement among Millennial workers, according to Gallup.
This sudden increase in engagement is likely because workers, especially Millennial workers, want their employers to be invested in them and their careers. They want coaching, and more than three-fourths of all employees (regardless of generation) say they want to discuss their career paths at least once a year or once a quarter.
When employees feel this support, they are driven to invest more in the company. Their own motivation soars, their loyalty strengthens, and their sense of belonging grows. Continuous feedback models of performance management offer plenty of opportunities for managers and organizations to provide this level of support.
Continuous feedback models also streamlines and improves communication, ensuring any misunderstandings are addressed before months have passed and limited resources have been wasted on miscommunicated endeavors. Regular communication also quells anxiety and mistrust, according to the 85% of employees surveyed who say frequent performance conversations with a manager would make them feel more confident. Regular feedback models lead, then, to happier, healthier employees and a more productive, confident team.
Wondering how to implement a continuous feedback model? Effective continuous feedback involves:
Specific, Unbiased Feedback. Nearly a third of employees feel current performance management models produce unfair and biased feedback, and 4 out of 10 employees think that feedback is too vague. Clear, specific feedback given on a regular basis will help reduce bias and improve employee morale.
Timely recognition. Appreciated employees are motivated employees. In the traditional model of performance management, which involves little more than an annual review, employees rarely receive recognition–if at all. A continuous feedback model enables managers and teams to recognize employee achievements right away, which energizes employees and creates momentum for even greater performance.
Shared task relevance. Employees want their work to have meaning. Understanding how their tasks and assignments fit in with overall company goals and benefit both their individual departments and the organization as a whole increases motivation to do the job well.
Obstacle anticipation. Whatever task an employee is assigned, there will always be obstacles to overcome. A management team that anticipates those obstacles and offers methods for overcoming them along the way helps maintain employee motivation and productivity and boosts feelings of support.
Open dialogue. Employees want managers to be teammates when it comes to career development. This means keeping the channels of communication open and allowing employees the opportunity to give their own impressions of their performance.
Ready to push your performance management model to the next level? View the following resources to learn how:
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