Give the Gift of Feedback to Your Employees This Holiday Season!

Related Attorney: Allison B. Williams

Published: January 2, 2019

Looking for the perfect gift for your employees this holiday season? Consider giving the gift of feedback (although turkeys and bonuses are certainly good, too!). An overwhelming amount of information has been published on the benefits of feedback in the workplace in recent years. Studies consistently show that employees crave more, real-time feedback and have become dissatisfied with the traditional annual review process.

What is feedback?

Feedback is critical information about expectations, performance, projects and assignments, communication style, organizational culture, attitude, and professional image. Simply put, it is an honest, real-time dialogue between managers and employees (in either direction) about what is going well in the workplace, what needs improvement, and what needs to happen for improvements to be made.

What are the benefits of giving your employees feedback (a.k.a why should you keep reading)?

The benefits of feedback include: improvement of work-performance, increased employee engagement, increased employee retention, increased productivity, and increased revenue! As an employment lawyer, it would be remiss of me not to add that a robust feedback program is also an investment in litigation avoidance. I cannot count the number of cases I have had where the plaintiff did not see the employment termination coming because he or she was not receiving any meaningful feedback relating to job performance. And, because the plaintiff thought he/she was doing a fine job, the plaintiff assumed he/she was fired for an illegal reason. What’s more, if you are engaging in feedback with your employees, you may learn that an employee needs an accommodation to succeed, that you have a problem manager, or that your processes are antiquated or inefficient. The bottom line? Feedback pays off!

Good idea – now what?

My colleagues, Bobbie Conklin (S&J’s Business Development Manager) and Jen Trippett (S&J’s Senior Manager of Professional and Staff Development) have spent a tremendous amount of time researching and implementing a robust feedback system for our firm and have become experts on the topic – many of you reading this may have benefitted from attending their presentations on the topic. Because they have “been there, done that” when it comes to creating and implementing a functional feedback program, I have solicited them for their top tips for employers who want to give the gift of feedback to their employees.

Without further ado, here are Bobbie and Jen’s top 5 tips for delivering and receiving effective feedback:

Consider kicking off 2019 with a resolution to give and receive more feedback. An organization that invests in their feedback culture should see many happy returns! Happy New Year!!

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