Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Why is Feedback an 8 Letter Word?

Since when is feedback such a chore?  Why is feedback so hard to do?

Employees need to understand how they are doing and what they need to do to move up their career ladder.  If feedback isn't received then how do employees develop?

Yet, feedback (communication) is usually the number one cited problem between managers and employees and leadership and managers.

I think back to when I had a manager in corporate America.  I really did look forward to having that conversation about how I was doing and what I would be doing next.  Believe it or not, I did get feedback that was hard to hear.  Yes, I was told as an HR professional that I was NOT a great listener.

Imagine that...Ms. Type A personality, not a good listener.  But...realizing that weakness I began to try harder.  I really began to try to shut my mouth and not formulate responses when other people were talking.  (How am I doing now?)

Anyway, I think about many managers I know today that will go to any length to NOT have that conversation because they are conflict avoiders.  I believe by not giving feedback to your employees you are risking a lot more than just your perceived relationship with that employee.  It's just like kids, for those of us that have them....you are not trying to be their friend you are trying to be their parent (boss).

Here's a short list of why it is important to have the "tough" conversations:

1) By not explaining where employees need to improve hurts the employee.  Whether they stay with your organization or move on to another one, the issue still is not solved, thus leaving that employee not as effective as they can be.

2) The company suffers in productivity by not developing the individuals to their full potential.  I believe that most individual want to perform well and in order to do so they need the basics; job expectations, job feedback and performance discussions.

3) Morale suffers period.  By keeping individuals that aren't performing, the high performers get...well just pissed off.  This decreased morale will then lead to turnover and turnover leads to more costs.

4) Customer relations can suffer as well.  By not having conversations with employes that interact with customers can be very detrimental.  Sometimes, we don't' get a second chance with customers....they just leave and never come back.

So, what is the solution to this lack of feedback quandary?

I have some ideas....but let me hear yours.  Come on give me some feedback!!!


Anonymous said...

Great thoughts Cathy. It reminds me of Jim Collin's "face the brutal facts."

Here is another idea. Sometimes when we give feedback we get feedback in return. If WE listen to the feedback to our feedback we may be learners. This is one reason why, in some situations, to ask the question "why?" in our feedback may help us come to a greater understanding of why the individual is doing, or not doing, a specified action.

Thanks for sharing. -Jack

Mark Bowers said...

There needs to be a mechanism for reporting out on feedback. If those who provide feedback don't see that their inputs were considered it seems less likely to get their feedback next time.

Amelia Cecily said...

Jackin, you are right, feedback doesn't mean only response to what you are asking , its a way of starting communication and sharing opinions and ideas.

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Al Smith said...

excellent Cathy. Listen and Learn. Meeting with employees, asking questions, receiving feedback is essential to company growth and improved morale. No meeting once a year for a "review" Once a month or at least per qtr is much better. the employee needs to feel valued and that they are heard, as well as receive feedback on where they are, performance wise.


Unknown said...

Thanks Jack, Mark and Al for reading and commenting.

Feedback is so critical and I can tell you guys think so as well...

Have a great week-


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