Recognize This! – Feedback is useless unless it is frequent, timely and gathered from multiple sources.
Feedback. How often should we give it? Who should give it? When should it be given? What format to deliver it should be used?
All of these are good questions, but are we all in agreement on what feedback is?
Steve Roesler, author of the All Things Workplace blog, recently answered this question by telling us where the term originated:
“Feedback started as a term used to describe the signals
sent from a rocket back to earth in order to determine the accuracy of
the rocket’s course. By tracking speed and trajectory, ground crews
could determine when and where to make corrections.
“At some point in time, the term Feedback was incorporated into
business language as a way to talk about performance. And, as in rocket
flight, it has been determined that the best way for a person to stay
“on course” is to assess where one stands at any given moment in
relation to the task or goal at hand.
“Here’s the really important point: The chances of impacting
performance increase with frequency and timeliness of feedback. That
implies the need for ongoing ‘How are we doing?’ conversations. It’s our
best chance at knowing whether we’re on track or not.”
I couldn’t agree more. And that’s the key failing of the annual performance review process (or even the bi-annual approach). It’s simply too infrequent to provide the course correction needed.
That’s why it’s critical to integrate social recognition into your performance management programs. As Mary Ann Masarech, employee engagement practice leader with BlessingWhite, said in a recent webinar with me:
“The powerful thing about recognition is that it reminds
people of what matters most. This is a key part of engagement – to
redirect employee effort and attention to the top priorities of the
organization. Regular recognition throughout the year is a reminder of what you need employees to keep doing.”
Regular, frequent, consistent recognition – from multiple sources
(not just the direct manager) – gives the ongoing, real-time feedback
employees at all levels need to stay on course.
From management’s perspective, the dramatic increase in amount of
feedback better informs talent management systems, especially when
viewed as comparative Talent Maps across the organization.
Do you have a structure for giving frequent feedback to keep
employees on course, or are you relying on a system that may be letting
them wander away from your goals?
7 Jun 2012 4:15 PM
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