Why employee feedback is important

A new study out shows that the majority of Americans- almost 70% to be exact, dislike or feel disengaged in their current positions. This is due in part to the incoming young generation to the workforce. Employees want to feel valued in their jobs and challenged to do better. Employers should notice those employees that take the extra steps to do well in their positions so as to advance them in that company. If they aren’t giving employees opportunities to grow, those employees will seek that type of work-related experience elsewhere.

Taking feedback from employees to create positive change in the workforce is the best way to ensure that a company or business is thriving. This is true for all companies, whether they are selling services, software, or physical products like windows. In regards to mergers and acquisitions, employees feel the brunt and if the merger or acquisition does not deliver to the extent that employees were told or hoping for, they may leave. When combining companies, it is important to keep the culture of those two companies alive and ensure that they mix together well. Having feedback from employees can ensure the success of that culture mixture. This tells the owners of that business which types of company culture are positive and which types of company culture are negative, which in turn ensures that the culture of the merger or acquisition is essentially created by the employees of those companies.

Software is around to help employers conduct surveys and obtain feedback on how their business is going. However, these surveys aren’t being conducted annually anymore but continuously. They want to see how the climate at work changes throughout a given week, for example. Because of this, departments are specifically made to research and study the data from employees in regards to the workplace.

On the other hand, it is the job of employers to provide feedback to employees on how to better themselves, and in turn, better the company. That does not mean being negative or vague, but being helpful. On top of surveys, employers can utilize performance reviews and other tools to help the culture of a company.

Employees who have managers that are not authentic in offering advice for better work strategies may see employees continue to struggle in their position, which leads to job vacancies. Being authentic and caring will encourage an employee to make the necessary changes to do well in their position. Research shows that employees want feedback from supervisors, specifically “corrective feedback”, which is defined by employees as, “suggestions for improvement, explorations of new and better ways to do things, or pointing out something that was done in a less that optimal way.”

By a margin of three to one, employees prefer constructive feedback rather than positive feedback, as it is thought to do more in improving performance at work. 57% of employees prefer corrective feedback whereas 43% prefer praise. Furthermore, 72% of employees said that they feel as if their performance would be better if they were given constructive feedback on appraisal forms. There was a correlation between confidence and preference for receiving negative feedback. Entry- level and new employees, by far, need more feedback to enhance their confidence in their position. Long- time or expert employees focus more on progressing and getting better at their position.

Statistics on employee feedback prove that employee feedback should be part of business models, as positive feedback increases productivity, and in turn, profits. In 2006, a study shows that engaged employees will outdo disengaged employees by almost 28%. In 2009, another study showed that those companies with higher employee engagement saw a 9% increase in shareholder returns. Similarly, another study from the Center for Creative Leadership showed that 80% of employees that have high levels of trust in their companies’ management are committed to their workplace, with only 25% of employees with low trust in their businesses’ management being committed. Higher engaged employees are less absent from work and have a 51% higher productivity rate, increasing business profits by around $2000 per employee when their companies invest only 10% in employee engagement.

The top three ways to ensure that the feedback is helping the company are simple to follow. First, make sure that the employee surveys are designed with ease, allowing employees to complete the survey with no issues. Making certain that these surveys are given at the right time can ensure that the responses are given under truthful and relaxed conditions. Guaranteeing that the goals of the survey are clear and will lead to top-notch decision making and alignment will encourage employees to continue being honest and truthful in these feedback surveys, and in turn, will make the business a better place to work.

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