The Importance of Effective Employee Feedback

Creating a great work environment is rewarding in and of itself. A place where people actually want to show up on time and are motivated to get the project done—a place where everyone has a sense of ownership when it comes to the results—has clear intrinsic benefits.

There’s also plenty of concrete, bottom-line benefit to be had when you can take employee feedback—that is, feedback from your employees—and put it towards an environment that works for them.

The better things are for them, the better things are for business: improved productivity, improved talent retention, and improved profit margins are all direct results of increased employee satisfaction.

Obtaining Effective Employee Feedback Increases Job Satisfaction

Companies aren’t just putting themselves in a better position to innovate and compete when they listen to their team members—they’re also exposing themselves to significantly less internal turbulence.

Evidence suggests the balance of power is tilting more and more towards the side of skilled employees, despite what seems to be the prevailing assessment of labor’s power in the current political climate.

According to an annual survey conducted by the MRI Network, more than 90% of today’s recruiters believe “candidates are in charge.”

Translation: give your skilled employees the kind of workplace they appreciate, or they’re liable to cut and run. Even back in 2011, when the labor market was essentially flat even in many skilled white collar positions.

A study done by workplace motivation company GloboForce found that a full 38% of workers were planning on searching for a new job in the fourth quarter, and 39% reported feeling unappreciated.

Among those looking for a way to escape their current company, 76% weren’t satisfied with the amount of recognition they received for their efforts.

Only 39% of the workforce as a whole reported getting any feedback from management that wasn’t part of a mandatory review process; meanwhile 98% of workers report feeling disengaged from their work when they aren’t receiving feedback. It’s little surprise, then, that so many are so prepared to leave at the first opportunity. And it cuts both ways. Not only do employees crave feedback, they crave the opportunity to give it.

Why Getting Feedback From Employees Is Important

Getting feedback helps employees understand their place in the organization, and makes it clear that their contributions are being noticed; an explicit and encouraged opportunity to give feedback makes it clear that not just their contributions, but their individuality, is appreciated.

When they aren’t being appreciated, they’re likely to jump ship and leave their employers stranded.

Of course, it might be even worse if they stay. A study by workplace researcher Will Felps found that just one slacker or disgruntled employee in a group could reduce the entire team’s productivity and effectiveness by 30-40%.

Get together a team where more than one member isn’t happy with the environment, and you’re lucky to get anything done at all—and according to the numbers above, the average company has managed to alienate at least a third of their workforce.

It’s truly astounding when you think about the loss of efficiency across the business sector as a whole simply because companies aren’t proactive in their approach to employee engagement and satisfaction.

The economic drain is incalculable, yet the solution is so simple: encourage the regular exchange of ideas and performance feedback, not just from management to employees but from employees to management, too.

Give everyone in the company a sense of ownership by actually increasing everyone’s say in how things are run, and you’ll see greater efficiency and more successful innovation.

Your talent holds a lot of sway, and can truly make or break a small or medium enterprise. A completely disengaged workforce can even bring a multinational behemoth to its knees given enough time, and unquestionably eats into shareholder profits.

Start Obtaining Effective Feedback To Make Decisions!

Put a platform in place that allows for effective feedback from your employees, and encourage them to use it to speak their minds. Then—and here’s the tricky part—really listen to what they have to say, and put their best ideas into practice.

Closing a fully-inclusive feedback loop is vital to the success of your business no matter what your size or industry. The numbers can’t steer you wrong—and neither will your employees.

Let us know of any current processes that you are using in the comments below!