It is the season where organisations are engaged or concluding the annual performance appraisal or review sessions. Year on year, this is a critical activity that tracks organisations’ progress so far in achieving their goals and objectives.
An essential part of the appraisal exercise is the giving of feedback – positive or negative. This element of the appraisal season makes this a difficult period for both managers and employees alike. While some managers shy away from giving their employees feedback, especially when it is negative, some employees, on the other hand, have not learnt to take feedback well. Whether positive or negative, managers must learn how to make feedback constructive in nature. Hence, the feedback must lead to the employee striving to become better. Constructive feedback is a vital component of an employee’s development journey. From high performers to under-performers, employees need timely, concrete, specific, and helpful feedback to reach their full potential. While positive feedback helps build employee confidence, negative feedback or as it may be called constructive criticism, helps employees learn from their mistakes and clarifies expectations.
Most managers are getting it wrong because they think the annual performance review session is the only opportunity to provide their subordinates with feedback. This is a sad reality as a survey conducted by ClearCompany revealed that 96% of employees say they want to hear feedback regularly. Managers must go beyond annual reviews to providing those they lead with real-time feedback. In the same survey conducted by ClearCompany, 32% of employees say they have to wait more than three months to receive feedback from their managers. Again, this ought not to be so. This is why 45% of HR leaders do not think annual performance reviews are an accurate appraisal of an employee’s work. Frequent feedback helps establish trust between employees and their managers. According to a Harvard Business Review (HBR) survey, 58% of people trust strangers, while only 42% trust their line-manager. Developing a culture of providing regular feedback to employees improves trust between employees and their managers. Employees whose managers regularly provide feedback are nearly three times more engaged than those with managers who do not. Studies have shown that 43% of highly engaged employees receive feedback at least once a week. Managers should not wait till the end of the year to give employee feedback. When performance feedback is given regularly, it increases employee engagement, reduces turnover, and increases company productivity.
Here are some statistics which deepen the impact and reason why managers must master the art of giving feedback to their subordinates:
- One in five employees is not confident their manager will provide regular, constructive feedback.
- 24% of workers would consider leaving their jobs if they have managers that provide inadequate performance feedback.
- 92% of respondents agreed with the assertion, “Negative (redirecting) feedback, if delivered appropriately, is effective at improving performance.”
- 63% of Gen Z said they want to hear timely, constructive performance feedback throughout the year.
- 27% of workers strongly agree that the feedback they currently receive helps them do their work better.
- On a scale of 1-10, managers who gave the right amount of feedback earned an average score of 8.6 from workers.
- 68% of employees who receive accurate and consistent feedback feel fulfilled in their jobs.
How can you get your managers to become skilled at giving feedback? I can assure you; a simple training might not do. Managers who are coached on how to provide feedback to their subordinates are seven times more effective than does who only received training. Coaching helps realign mindsets, change behaviour and unbundle the causative factors for a certain kind of action. Contact us today and join the list of those who have had their managers reprogrammed to provide feedback to their employees. Please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and leverage our over 28 years of experience in helping clients across industries and sectors.
Head of Advisory, People Transformation