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Providing employee feedback to ensure the long-term success of your star employees

hr best practices hr compliance hr department team management May 02, 2023

One thing we know from research is that most employees want a job where they are aligned with the company and making a difference. It does not mean they have the solution for world peace, but that what they are doing every day supports the goals of the business. This is why ensuring that you are aligning your star employees with the company and its goals is crucial to the long-term success of that employee. And it all starts with providing employee feedback.

We all expect our employees to have the desire to help the company reach its goals. It is essential that you provide continual feedback to employees so they see how their role aligns with meeting those goals. Feedback allows them to understand the value of their efforts. Instead of asking managers to give feedback focused on performance, turn the conversation to one that is focused on the overall benefit of connection and success.

Now, I am not saying you no longer have performance management conversations and documentation – they are vital to every organization, especially when it comes to compliance. If there are problems, the first step in any conflict with your employees will be a request for documentation. That still has to exist in those situations that just aren’t successful. For compliance purposes, you should still have a written review that happens annually.

As you embark on the new world of ongoing feedback, there are a few steps you will need to consider. There is a continuous circle of communication that should be taking place.  Discussing how it is going, and then helping the employee eliminate roadblocks when they exist are two steps in this communication circle. Two additional critical steps in this process are coaching and motivating. It is these two steps that are often missed in the traditional performance management conversations.

Another essential part of the communication circle is Setting SMART goals. This is as critical as ever. If you are not familiar with the acronym, it stands for:

Specific - exactly what is the employee to accomplish

Measurable - how will you know when the goal is completed

Action-oriented - The employee is in control and needs to take the steps for success

Realistic - the ability to complete the goal is within reach

Time-bound - there is a defined target by when the goal should be completed

The idea is to create goals that employees understand clearly and have success factors that are quantifiable to both the employee and manager.

Whether the conversation you are having with employees is about the plan for the future or their individual goals, we know that frequent one-on-one interaction between manager and employee is most effective. Consider different conversations throughout the year that will provide various levels of information about your strategic plan, and motivate them to align with their part in the success.

Give employees meaningful feedback on how they are both aligning and progressing, and ask for their input on how they might like to be more involved. This will often help you identify the members of your team that will help you move your business where you want to go!


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