We’ve often discussed how ongoing performance development™ increases employee engagement and leads to greater success for a business. Regular feedback keeps employees aligned with company goals, and support from management makes them feel valued. Still, companies proposing to get rid of annual reviews and employee rankings shouldn’t just dive in headfirst. If your business plans to reevaluate its methods, it’s best to have an idea of employee needs before getting started. Below are a few key insights into employee expectations:
Criticism is a touchy subject when it comes to employee evaluations. Critiquing a team member’s behavior or methods is uncomfortable for everyone involved. Managers want to avoid appearing too harsh, but they’re afraid even the tiniest suggestion will leave employees feeling attacked. Thus, management pours on excessive praise or says nothing of value.
“72 percent of employees said corrective feedback would them work more effectively.”
This assumption isn’t true, however. Employees don’t burst into tears or storm out of the room if they’ve been criticized. In fact, according to a study by the Harvard Business Review, the majority of employees prefer criticism over outright praise. Fifty-seven percent of those surveyed said they would rather have corrective feedback – that is, conversations that steer employees toward a better way to achieve their goals, point out when something was done inaccurately and end with ways to improve. Meanwhile, 72 percent said corrective feedback would help them work more effectively.
The Big Picture
Employees want to know how they fit into the overall strategy of a business. They know the steps required to do their jobs, but they want to know why their work is necessary. Without this understanding, employees feel like a tool that is used for one purpose and then put away to be forgotten until it’s needed again.
To remedy this, Inc. suggested managers should explain the efforts of their teams and the business as a whole to individual employees. This gets the individual more involved in the company’s efforts and he or she will find more creative solutions to achieve company objectives.
An Idea of the Future
According to HR Morning, a forward-thinking approach makes employees less defensive about past mistakes. And, as Inc. noted, business leaders and management must look to the future. By discussing an employee’s past actions in terms of future goals and achievements, that individual becomes more motivated, focused and better equipped to handle future challenges. Managers should also discuss how employees feel about their own futures, inquiring about what roles they’d like to take on and what skills they’d like to learn.
Knowing what employees want from ongoing performance development helps management prepare for frequent check-ins and collaborative goal-setting approaches.