Happy employees are productive employees. They also tend to be healthier, more engaging with customers and less likely to leave. In fact, more and more companies seem to be realizing the importance of boosting morale in the workplace. But, as we unpacked in an earlier blog, there’s seldom happiness surrounding annual performance reviews. Understandably, it’s mostly a stressful time for the employee receiving feedback, and it’s very often just as uncomfortable for the manager giving it.
Here’s the good news: Offering real-time feedback can actually minimize the stress associated with reviews and create a happier work environment.
What exactly is real-time feedback?
Quite simply, real-time feedback is a method of giving feedback to employees on an ongoing basis, rather than only once or twice a year.
What are the benefits of giving real-time feedback?
Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of employing this method is that it allows for continual guidance, which nurtures confidence, facilitates growth, improves performance and ultimately saves time and resources. We delve deeper into the pros of real-time feedback here.
So, why do some managers resist it?
Knowing that there are benefits to real-time feedback, some managers still struggle with the implementation thereof. We understand. Managers who already have full plates might feel overwhelmed by needing to offer ongoing feedback, particularly if they have big teams. Or, they might not want (or feel able) to deal with issues that unravel when offering this type of feedback. In some cases, managers aren’t always able to monitor what employees do on a daily basis, especially when working on cross-departmental projects. Moreover, some managers are indifferent as they might not understand or recognize the benefits of this process.
How do you encourage managers to provide real-time feedback?
Bringing about a shift in culture and effectively introducing new practices in a company can take some time. Here are a few tips that will help make the process of implementing real-time feedback a smoother one:
1. Offer managers training
Give managers people management training to eliminate fear and improve communication, delegation, motivation and expectation setting. Remember, these are skills that can be acquired and refined – they don’t necessarily come naturally to everyone.
2. Encourage team work
Allow managers to empower the members on their team who have sufficient experience to provide feedback to those with less experience. This splits the load but more importantly, it builds mentorship roles within the team and it instills confidence in those employees who may one day step into management positions themselves.
3. Connect managers with leadership
Ask that project managers and other senior leaders offer their input and guidance to managers. These people have often developed skills in motivating others to see the bigger picture. In addition to this, give managers access to senior management or HR so that they know where they can obtain the information and resources they need, and so that they in turn feel empowered to represent their teams and stand up for them.
4. Equip managers with the right tools
To ensure that efficiency is maximized and time is saved, we recommend introducing real-time feedback software, like ours. This tool automates much of the process, prompts managers to complete reviews on time, allows you to gather performance feedback from various stakeholders at once, and it generates dashboard reports by category (location, department, seniority, etc.), so that you can see how individuals and groups are performing across the business.
Ultimately, paving the way for real-time feedback is worth the effort. This method has the potential to eliminate the anxiety associated with annual reviews, to improve performance management and to increase employee retention, particularly among millennials and gen z who value instant feedback. With the right mindset, support and tools, managers can also rest assured that providing employee feedback on a regular basis can become a seamless and stress-free process – one that can certainly facilitate happiness in the workplace.