Between Manager and Employee, Feedback Is Everything

Photo by Wynand van Poortvliet on Unsplash

Cementing the belief that communication is vital in building and retaining a team, a study conducted by human resources firm SHRM reveals that employees rate their relationship with their immediate supervisor among the top five job satisfaction contributors.

Specifically, 54% of employees in the survey indicated that a good relationship with their team manager or supervisor was “very important” to their job satisfaction. Middle-management cited this aspect more vocally than the executive ranks (probably because the C-suite doesn’t get bossed around as much).

Communication between employees and senior management is equally salient. 50% rated this as “very important,” suggesting that employees want to be treated as adults and get briefed directly by their superiors.

“Developing effective communication practices and respecting employees’ work and opinions lead to better relationships between managers and their staff. These efforts indicate that management has a vested interest in their employees,” reads the whitepaper.

Negative feedback hurts

Okay, that was an easy one. Everyone knows communication is the key to making a relationship work, be it with your boss or with your spouse. But there’s more to it than meets the eye. Good communication doesn’t just mean opening your mouth and letting sounds out. It also matters what you say and how you say it. This concerns managers more than it does regular employees, so if you happen to be supervising one or more people, listen up.

The same research uncovered that 50% of employees put “recognition of job performance” high on their satisfaction o’ meter. However, recognition alone doesn’t seem to be enough to retain top performers. It helps clarify organizational goals, offering a more precise picture of employee accomplishments, but more is needed to keep workers satisfied.

81% of organizations have an employee recognition program, based on the belief that recognizing accomplishments provides a clearer understanding of the company’s goals. Here’s the interesting bit. 94%, or nearly all of the organizations surveyed by SHRM, felt that positive feedback reinforces behavior or performance that should be repeated, and therefore contributes immensely to improving performance compared with negative feedback.

Keep it real

9 out of 10 organizations reported noticing that feedback from both upper management and peers reflected the employee’s performance more accurately, compared with just the direct supervisor’s feedback.

We’ve tested this here at 4PSA and it passed with flying colors. The more people offer you their feedback, the faster you can correct an error, find missing pieces, or shift direction before it’s too late. It can be a little frustrating when the reaction isn’t what you hoped for, but the end result is always positive because we work towards the same goal. We use observations to improve our work, not to satisfy our egos.

And if there’s one thing we’ve learned from this is that having a diverse team helps a great deal. Because when you develop communication software, you’re addressing literally everyone.

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