Corporate Enterprise

The Employee Feedback Loop

Maggie Callahan

September 20, 2017

Learn how to improve the employee feedback for each generation in your workforce.

The generational gap in the corporate world today is staggering. There are the Baby-Boomers: experienced, tenured and traditional. There is Generation X: work-centric, goal-oriented and adaptive. Then there are the Millennials: empowered, entitled and resourceful.

The mix of these traits requires employers to be extremely fluid and flexible when it comes to giving feedback. Some respond extremely well to a direct, straight-shooter approach. Others are much more touchy-feely and require a more empathetic, compassionate one-on-one session.

Of course, every personality is different, but taking a minute to consider the overarching characteristics of the generation you're speaking with may have extreme company benefits. Think retention of employees (ROI), increased employee satisfaction scores, happier, higher performers...

Let's talk about three quick wins to increase company culture through the employee feedback loop...

1. Public Employee Recognition
I'm sure some of you read this and immediately thought, "I hate public displays of recognition." But keep an open mind here. Ten years ago, it was normal to only receive recognition through email or a hand-written letter. It was also rare for employees to recognize each other for work well done. Instead, they waited until a leader credited an individual personally.

If you're still in the days of email recognition, it's time to think about incorporating a more public display of celebration. Several CRM systems like Salesforce and Oracle have adapters for "Chatter" applications making it is easy to tack on badges for a job well done. Employees are on these platforms most of the day anyway, so you might as well give them a reason to reinforce positive feedback and collaboration!

2. Daily Stand-up Meetings

Build out 15-30 minutes each morning (or maybe only 2-3 days a week) to pull the team together and talk about great wins, tough problems that may require assistance or metrics that need to be reinforced. This caters to several personality differences and multiple generations. It allows Baby-Boomers to share their expertise from experience to newcomers who may have a lack of focus. It allows Millennials to share new and, seemingly crazy, ideas to an audience who may be stuck in their ways. This is also a great time to encourage team shout-outs and for team leaders to recognize and emphasize specific positive actions or big wins.

3. Change the Layout of the 1:1

Imagine if the standard 1:1 evaluation or weekly catch-up was turned upside down. Imagine asking how the employee believes (s)he is doing. What has (s)he enjoyed working on in the past week, month, quarter? What ideas has (s)he seen internally or at other organizations that (s)he liked or disliked and why? What about asking how you are doing as a leader and looking for evaluation tips on how you can leverage those for a more successful career?

Creating an open-forum 1:1 completely increases trust from employee to leader. By asking questions rather than making statements, you allow your employees, regardless of generation, to show their personality and that within itself gives you an evaluation of areas for improvement and areas of expertise.

For more on culture change within the workplace, ideas for empowering your employees, and trends in the industry, continue tuning into #trendingnow every Wednesday. You can also follow Maggie Callahan on LinkedIn by clicking here.

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