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The Right Feedback Can Boost Employee Retention


Business owners and CEOs need a variety of skill to be great leaders. The ability to provide meaningful, constructive feedback is a critical one. The people they lead at all levels within their organization want to do their best. They can’t accomplish this goal if they don’t have clear input from those that at the helm.



Among the most critical elements when it comes to employee retention and job satisfaction, research shows that providing the right type of feedback in the context of responsibilities and job expectations is a top priority. It fosters a willingness to excel and helps to build a trusting work relationship.

So much has been written about Millennials in the workplace. One thing is clear; they thrive on feedback. Primarily when it’s provided on a regular basis and done constructively. They appreciate supervisors that enable them to grow and be better at work.

These are a few suggestions to help you sharpen your abilities:

It’s your responsibility to make it work. No one enjoys hearing that their performance is falling short. It makes for a challenging conversation. Helping people get what they need from the discussion is up to you. By the end of the interview, an employee should walk away with some insight or knowledge. If this is not the case, that is no you, not them.

Come into the meeting with the clarity of what you want to achieve. Being prepared for an employee feedback conversation will increase the likelihood of success. Think of the desired outcome of the meeting and focus the feedback on the things that will influence that outcome.

The conversation should center around specific feedback. Try to think of examples when expectations were not met and what could have changed the desired result. The instances combined with language the other person understands and can find relevant will significantly impact the intended effect.

Be objective. The feedback needs to focus on the situation and not the person. An issue typically associated with feedback is that emotions or preconceptions can get in the way of getting the point across. Focusing on the situation helps to reduce, if not eliminate, bias in the conversation.

Business2Community defines Pure feedback as the “descriptive, non-judgemental delivery of objective, verifiable information. It focuses on addressing behavior or performance based on just the facts. By concentrating on the circumstances, the receiver is not stuck or hung up on what could appear like a biased view that comes from being judged.

Instead of a monologue, make it a discussion. The recipient will absorb feedback more readily if he or she feels like she is part of a conversation and not just being lectured. To make it a discussion, you can ask your employee for their thoughts and reactions. Ask them to raise any operational issues they’re experiencing that could be causing the less-than-optimum performance. By making it a conversation, you will also make it feel less punitive and more collaborative.

A new approach. In the past, and for a long time, experts believed that inserting praise before critiquing individual’s performance was effective. Recent leadership literature has found that the approach is a cop-out to help the person giving feedback feel more comfortable rather than enlighten the receiver.

Instead, offer praise on a regular basis. Positive reinforcement is more effective when it happens on the spot, and at the time the behavior is being displayed. It also makes it easier to focus the conversation on the performance shortfall coupled with suggestions on how to do better.

Want to learn more about offering feedback and improving your skills? Watch this free webinar “Grooming Engaged, Entrepreneurial Employees” provided by Baltimore’s TAB owner, Marty O’Neill