For managers, providing employee feedback is a tough task. Done well, it can produce excellent results. But it’s not easy to do. How will employees perceive the input? What’s the best way to deliver a critique—as part of a periodic performance review?
Given that 32% of employees have to wait more than three months to get feedback from their manager, chances are, by the time they receive the review, the feedback feels awkward.
Moreover, 24% of workers say they’d consider leaving their job due to inadequate performance feedback.
And if they leave, filling that position can cost six to nine months-worth of the employee’s salary in recruiting and training costs.
Here’s the thing, your enterprise social network (ESN) data is a goldmine for taking the discomfort out of providing feedback.
Let’s look at the different types of feedback and how ESN data analytics can make the process easier and more effective—for you and your staff.
Use ESN data to provide feedback (versus criticism)
Organizations often struggle with feedback, partly because it gets tangled up with criticism. What’s the difference between the two?
Criticism focuses on weaknesses and past mistakes. In the workplace, it can make the receiver feel discouraged.
Feedback, on the other hand, strengthens the work community by aiming to improve moving forward.
Your ESN data can guide the feedback process.
For example, the sentiment tool can identify communication mood-changes that occurred as a previous project stalled. With that understanding, leadership can prepare to give feedback should a similar issue show up in the future.
Additionally, the data guides the feedback. This reduces emotional flare-ups, allowing managers to use facts to steer the feedback.
Unlock your positive-feedback and redirection superpowers
There’s plenty of available advice for managing employee feedback. But the real test comes with simply doing it!
That includes providing regular positive feedback (such as new employee recognition).
Giving employees meaningful feedback also builds a communication bridge between leadership and employees.
Moreover, establishing that line of communication makes redirection feedback easier for both the manager and the employee.
Giving employee redirection is an art—and the conversations can be difficult. However, when addressing an issue with an employee, the sooner you can handle the problem, the better.
With an analytics report, you can show the staff member where they need to change what they’re doing and why.
More importantly, the redirection becomes a conversation, allowing the manager and employee to look at the data and discuss how and where to improve.
Get the right tools to make feedback a snap
When it comes to providing useful feedback, the goal is to do it well, do it often, and monitor the outcomes.
Here are three practical approaches to create a high-performance feedback system.
Create a feedback plan
Whether you’re giving positive feedback or redirecting, going in prepared is critical. Preparing for the feedback will keep communication open and reduce defensiveness.
Use your ESN analytics tool to highlight actual employee successes or to show group members opportunities for future improvement.
To make your feedback planning more manageable, you can also generate an analytics report to guide your approach—all within a few clicks.
When emotions start to bubble up, feedback effectiveness gets sidelined. Use specific examples to support your feedback.
For instance, use your social network analytics to provide meaningful positive feedback with specific examples—such as the consistent support the employee gave the team throughout a project. This approach will eliminate the flimsy ‘Good job!’ feedback.
Likewise, when redirecting a staff member, the data will allow you to lead the conversation using real examples.
Effective feedback also requires following up—which can feel like an ominous task to keep straight. However, with a little analytics help, you can check in with groups quickly and easily.
For example, if your feedback included improving the next phase of a project, you can get an instant-read on the team’s mood on Workplace then jump in to chat about their progress.
Cultivate a feedback community
With the right tools, including access to real-time ESN analytics, leadership can use feedback to build a thriving work community. At the same time, employees will value the authentic feedback, feel more connected to their work, and will more likely want to stay.