core strengths of team members

How to Identify the Core Strengths of Every Team Member?

There is a reason that “what are your core strengths and weaknesses?” is part of the most common interview questions. Employers, leaders, and companies jump into this question when they intend to recruit people. They do this as they want to create a system based on their strongest intellectual assets. Of course, most of the time asking someone about their weaknesses from the very beginning can be slightly tricky. Sometimes, if you’re humble enough to express your weaknesses, it may be understood that you are just a normal person. You are admitting your flaws and adding up empathy.

However, most times employers understand this humbleness as a sign of weakness, too. So all in all, we can at least conclude that this perception is subjective. 

But going out of the recruiting process… Once you have a well-committed team with a diverse set of skills, how do you make use of this diversity? How do you identify their core strengths and help them become the best version of themselves? And how do you do this while still delivering great results at work? 

Understand the importance of knowing your employees

When we say know your team members, we don’t mean know their name and face features. Although, to be honest, yes, it’s good if you’re able to keep their names in mind. But more than that, you have to understand that as a leader, it is very important to know how to make your employees comfortable enough to express their areas of weaknesses and core strengths and to find strategies that can improve their performance

Findings from research conducted from the Gallup Organization showed that building on employee strengths is much more effective in raising their performance than trying to improve their weaknesses. This research also found that employees become 7.8 percent more productive when they become aware of their core strengths. 

Communicate and delegate

The way you decide to understand what goes on through your employees’ brains is key to really manage to filter concrete results. Certainly, if you choose to have an individual formal conversation about areas where they could improve, you will intimidate your team members as they will think they are being evaluated.

Do not, and we highlight, DO NOT wait for an evaluation to talk about what they’ve done wrong or right. Instead, do it during lunch while you’re talking about kids, family and the weather. Try to organize retreats, cultural events, or celebrations when you can convert awkward conversations into well managed and well-intended ones. Or add gaming nights to the schedule, as many companies are achieving greater results with inducing teamwork through games. They call it “gamification”. Through informal ways of inducing critical thinking, problem-solving opportunities and chances to prove one’s skills, you can easily understand where your employees lie strongly on foundation.

Whether that or adding yourself as an example. Delegating tasks not only shows that you consider your employees trustworthy and competent enough, but you set a practice of sharing and collaborating. Sometimes it doesn’t even matter if they finish their delegated tasks right or wrong. You will furthermore be notified on areas where they must still work and how you can motivate and invest in them.

Make sure to offer core strengths training

The way you choose your employee training and development program can prove to be key to productivity. So make sure to offer the right one. But what one might also consider, is to choose a program that adapts the needs and set of skills of your team members. A fish can not climb a tree, and that is why you can not mingle everyone in the same training room. There can be fundamental skills you might want to try and teach all of your team members. However, keep in mind that narrowing down to their areas of expertise can prove more effective. You can leave this up to your HR team, or you can seek exterior training. 

Appreciation and feedback

There is a reason why we highlighted the importance of not waiting for the annual evaluation time to give feedback. Why wait a year for them to show productivity when you can do that by giving them continuous feedback? Letting them know constantly that you appreciate their commitment and the way the managed to perform a specific harder task, will set on their positive mindset and their flow of positivity will reach to even more, greater results. 

Continuous feedback will help you build better relationships within your company, and will create a culture of communication. Otherwise, when things are left unsaid and accumulated, expectations for improvement are very little.   

 

Valmira Rashiti wrote this article. She is a practical mystic, bookworm and very much fond of words, whether written or spoken. She currently writes for Kiwi, a restaurant LMS that aims to help owners train their staff in an easier way. In addition, they offer online training courses for different restaurant services.

negative feedback in the workplace

How to give Negative Feedback in the workplace

Negative feedback can be hard to give but it is necessary. Feedback, positive or negative, is essential to every individual in the workplace. Receiving feedback is one of the best ways for an employee to improve and to perform. You need your colleagues and managers’ opinions in order to know if you are on the right path with your work. Could you picture yourself finding out your project is completely off track the day you hand it in?

Some people get nervous about giving negative/constructive feedback to others. Some are even afraid a confrontation will occur if they bring up criticism to someone else. Negative feedback is something that is necessary but you need to deliver it properly in order for it to be well received.

Here are a few tips on how to give negative feedback to your employees or colleagues:

1. It should be an unusual thing

Negative feedback shouldn’t be something people are used to receiving. It should be a constructive comment about someone’s work. It should also focus on how the other could improve. People who receive negative feedback too often will stop being motivated and will stop caring about the feedback they receive. The last thing you want to do is to make your employees or colleagues feel like whatever they do, it will never be enough.

2. It should be real-time feedback

Some people often think it is a good idea to wait for the “right moment” to give negative feedback to someone, but it’s the opposite. Feedback is more effective when given in real-time or right after the incident occurs. That way, you will be able to discuss it with the other while having a fresh memory of what happened. For instance, if you want to give feedback to someone about the way they acted in a meeting, waiting a week might not be a good idea. Acting fast will resolve the problem sooner. Waiting to give feedback will only resolve in you making it a bigger deal than it actually is. Bringing up something that happened a long time ago can also make the other feel like you are holding grudges. This is not the reaction you are looking for when you are giving feedback.

3. It should always be given face-to-face

It can be tempting when you feel uncomfortable giving feedback to someone to just sent an email and call it a day. Indeed, it can seem easier, but it will just make it worse for the person receiving the feedback. When it comes to negative feedback, it is okay to send it digitally, but giving the person a heads up in person, if possible, can make things so much better. If not, you can always end your feedback with an invitation to talk more about it over skype or in person, if needed. Feedback should be the beginning of a conversation between two people. Sharing your feedback face-to-face allows the other to share their insights on the situation as well. It also helps to avoid any misunderstandings on the feedback that was given.

4. Show others you believe they can improve

Giving constructive criticism is great in order for others to improve, but we sometimes need to be careful with how we address a situation. People can sometimes be discouraged when receiving negative feedback, especially if they thought their work was great. If they feel that way, they will be less likely to perform better after you deliver feedback. This is why reassuring the other person that you think they can do better might be necessary. Receiving encouragement at the end is always welcomed and ends the discussion on a positive note. Using feedforward here can be a great idea. You can focus on the other’s strengths and figure out how he or she can use them to add something to the next project.

5. Build good relationships with your colleagues or employees

Building good relationships in the workplace can seem like a no brainer. Its importance, though, is crucial. People will accept feedback better when it is coming from people they actually know. Receiving negative feedback from a manager you only talk to once a month won’t feel as good as if you receive it from another manager who you talk to every week. Getting negative feedback from someone you barely interact with can be harsh. This is why building good relationships with others and taking the time to deliver positive feedback as well is important. You don’t want people to feel like you only interact with them to criticizes them.

6. End your negative feedback with a question

Ending your feedback with an open question is a great way to make the other understand you also want to understand their side of the story. This shows that your feedback is not a one-way conversation. The main point of receiving feedback is to grow and improve. Your question at the end will be likely to start a conversation about how the company can do better. Make sure your question drives self-evaluation so the other can reflect on the situation.

7. Offer your help at the end

At the very end of the conversation, make sure you offer your help. Make yourself available to your colleagues or employees and show them you will be there for them while they improve. You can even make an action plan with the other person in order to help them even more. Consequently, showing your support is crucial because it demonstrates the reason why you gave feedback. The main reason to give feedback is always to help others and the organization you are in. Offering your personal help at the end will prove that point.

Concluding…

In the end, negative feedback can be hard to give and receive for everyone. It is important to keep in mind, though, that it is one of the best ways for any individual to improve and succeed in the workplace. The main goal of negative feedback is for the company to do better and we should all strive for its success. Keep these tips in mind the next time you are having a hard time delivering feedback to someone. Just remember that if you show your intentions are good and that you only want to offer your help, your feedback should be well received. Instead of focusing on just the past actions that were wrong, try to always end your feedback with a future perspective on how to improve!

Communication advice to connect your workplace

Communication Advice to Connect Your Workplace

What are the costs of a disjointed business? You end up needing extra time and effort to compensate for a poorly-led project. Not only this, companies without a unifying work strategy suffer from disengaged employees and low productivity. All of this has an effect on your company’s overall performance. That’s why communication is key.

In order to root out any disconnect your business is experiencing, you should target the problem at its source. Since communication is the best way to foster a unified vision, keep team members engaged and encourage collaboration. Honing your business communication skills is a valuable strategy for remedying internal issues as they arise. 

1.Offer channels for employee feedback

Regardless of size, your organization’s communication strategy should include a specific space for reviews, recognition and other kinds of feedback. And since a workplace with highly engaged individuals can yield over 20% greater profits, every business should be concerned with the ways that they can facilitate a culture of open communication and feedback

These types of conversations clarify work expectations, provide direction on projects and cite specific examples of great work. 

Most importantly, a business with healthy communication practices ensures that their feedback channel functions both between employee and employer. When employees provide upward feedback to their managers, your business will benefit from better leadership and honesty across the company. Businesses who train managers to give regularly scheduled feedback will foster a company culture that thrives on engagement and productivity. 

2.Research new tools

How often do you experience technical difficulties while conducting business? Outdated tech is time-consuming and can make communication, in particular, a challenge. 

If you need to call remote help during meetings or make external calls, you’ve likely experienced unreliable phone lines. Because it doesn’t rely on traditional phone cabling, services like Voice over IP reduce the risk of dropped calls. It may be tempting to invest in new tech impulsively, but it’s important to research VoIP and other tools like it to see what works best for the specific needs of your business. 

Similarly, looking into what employee engagement software is might be a good idea to have a metric-driven platform for company-wide communication. Equipped with feedback components, these platforms provide opportunities to engage employees through a myriad of communication solutions. This allows managers and leaders to tailor the channels they use for a unique experience with each team member. 

3.Cross-communication

Especially for businesses, productive collaboration can only occur in the wake of strong communication. Company leaders who recognize this and best actualize it for results are the ones who harness the power of communication across departments and leadership levels to create a culture of idea-sharing among all team members. 

By fostering conversations beyond department spaces, employees will have opportunities to hear new solutions to their old problems, gain a high-level understanding of business functions, forge new professional relationships, plus many other benefits

So how can you begin to transform a business entrenched interdepartmental conversation into one concerned with a bigger picture? The flexible workspace trend uses open office floor plans, relaxed seating and mingling spaces to encourage productivity and collaboration, which has a tendency to occur naturally throughout the day. 

Other solutions, such as cross-departmental brainstorms and after-work team-building events, provide ways to collaborate with fewer furniture rearrangements.

4.Embrace constructive criticism

Chances are, your business experiences one of two problems when it comes to criticism. Either your teams are inexperienced at receiving suggestions from others, or they aren’t offering suggestions at all. 

The former often derives from a lack of collaborative workplace experience. The latter typically involves team members who are afraid of insulting others. Fortunately, you only need one solution to solve both. 

By holding team-wide sessions that instruct on giving and accepting criticism, you’ll ensure that your entire team stays on the same page and pushes each other to deliver the best work possible. Because you want to emphasize strong communication among teammates, keep sessions focused on targeting ideas (as opposed to individuals).

How to create a Retention Strategy based on data

 The workplace has changed a lot in the last few years. Today, having a good retention strategy is more important and can seem more difficult than ever.

In fact, only one in three employees is actively engaged in the workplace. This makes it easy to understand why most of them are not satisfied with their current jobs and are ready to leave. 

Nowadays the ability to retain employees is imperative. Especially if you want to differentiate yourself on the job market. Being able to make your employees understand your assets as an employer and what they gain out of working for you is undeniably important. Furthermore, understanding what your employees expect from you and how you can drive engagement from them is also critical. 

Consequently, creating an employee retention strategy is crucial. Employees need more than a good salary in order to be happy in the workplace. In your new retention strategy, you should implement employee recognition and employee engagement. In fact, employees like to be recognized and appreciated for what they do for your company.

Collecting old and new data 

The very first step in creating a new retention strategy should be finding out what your current retention rate is. In order to do that, you need to look at your current data and then analyze it. Your organization needs to determine its existing retention practices, methods, successes, and failures. Determining quickly where there is room for improvement will help you move forward faster.  This is why using existing data first is important.

Once you’ve analyzed all the data already available you should then start to gather new data. Start by asking your employees for the information you don’t already have. For instance, if you have no existing data on how your employees feel about your cultural values, this should be your starting point. In order to develop a retention strategy that will work for your organization, you need to find out what type of practices didn’t work in the past and why it didn’t work so you can move forward with solutions. 

When it comes to improvement, the most important part is definitely finding out why your past errors happened. It is important to keep in mind that the more data you will collect the more accurate your results will be. Your next step is to find out what retains your employees and what makes them feel satisfied. To do that, you need as much information as possible from as many levels of the organization as possible.

Analyze all your data 

Once you’ve collected all your data you can then find ways to improve your company’s culture. You can start by finding out what drives employee engagement and what helps them feel recognized and valued. You can use the data to boost your employees’ happiness and engagement. This is why analyzing your data will play a big part in how you will take action. Being able to find the root of the problem is the most important thing when you are looking to develop a new strategy. The last thing you want to do is to recreate the same mistakes. 

From there, you can also generate surveys to provide your company with some real-time feedback. You will constantly be getting the pulse on how your employees feel about the changes you are making in your new retention plan. Identifying what you are doing right and what you need to improve is the key to creating the perfect strategy for your company. Knowing this, you can make decisions that are based on facts rather than based on feelings.

Take action – Implement your new retention strategy

Once you’ve analyzed your data you can then implement your solutions through your actions and behaviors. In fact, your company’s actions and behaviors make up your employee’s work experience.  How you act and behave will determine whether your employees will stay engaged or not in your organization.

The stronger the company’s culture is, the stronger the company’s values will be communicated and respected by your employees. Reinforcing your culture should be a big part of your new retention strategy. Implementing new values your employees are looking for in the workplace can also be a great way to make them happier.

The data you collected is gold for your organization. You should make sure you use it wisely in order to develop the best possible strategy. The one thing you shouldn’t forget to do is to constantly ask for your employees’ feedback while you are implementing your new retention strategy.

How to create a good Feedback Culture [Infographic]

Sharing feedback is hard sometimes, let’s just face the facts. It can be an awkward experience if your organization doesn’t share the values as you and therefore has a different vision of what should and shouldn’t be said. So to have an environment where you feel free to share those insights is important for both managers and employees alike. A feedback culture that can motivate your entire workforce. After all, we all seek to improve every day with each other, and we can’t do that if we restrain ourselves from other’s vision about us.

In that sense, it’s important to talk about the culture of an organization as a facilitator of an open feedback environment. If everyone in your workplace values open communication and the benefits it can bring, then you will start to build better feedback habits. That is essentially what implementing a feedback culture is all about.

Organizations with a strong feedback culture have a more engaged workforce and have better talent retention. Good feedback helps you build stronger relationships based on honesty and growth. So how can you build towards a feedback culture and improve employee engagement?

Let’s start by defining the main issue at hand.

What is Feedback Culture

A culture built around feedback is one where everybody feels at ease with sharing and gathering important insights about them and others. Being that comfortable to share that kind of information is important for anyone, regardless of position within an organization. So having a feedback culture requires a good level of awareness of what others expect from you and vice versa.

It’s a flow of natural honest feedback that every organization can benefit from. Not having that kind of open feedback culture may be easier, but it prevents real growth within your team. Many organizations prefer more traditional methods like annual performance reviews that limit what you can effectively do with feedback. A growth-minded feedback culture allows you to take value from your employee’s insights.

In its nature, it’s adopting habits that can improve the feedback flow in a certain workplace. Many organizations never build one because they don’t know how to implement those habits. Building a good feedback culture requires a high level of commitment to giving good helpful feedback.

How can you build a good Feedback Culture

Starting from the willingness to openly sharing and gathering feedback, what you need to do is essentially make everyone feel like they are a part of the same environment. Promoting that kind of openness helps everyone feel connected through peer to peer feedback. The constant flow of information is a defining characteristic of a healthy feedback culture.

That information needs to balance in order to reflect a complete view of your workforce. Both positive and negative feedback are helpful in their own way. While you might associate feedback to a more negative outlook, positive feedback is a great way of recognizing someone for their efforts, contributing to overall employee engagement. Negative feedback helps you be aware of areas of improvement.

Sharing the same values and practices is also a vital factor in building any sustainable culture. In terms of feedback, there are several key components to it. Feedback needs to be honest, straight to the point, balanced and fair. That way, as a habit, it helps you understand what needs to change or what needs reinforcement.

Once sharing feedback really becomes a habit, it will be more continuous and more consistent. Periodic feedback isn’t helpful in that way since it lacks healthy monitoring of progress. Continuous helpful feedback is fundamental to maintain a good feedback culture. When you have constant constructive insights you are more able to build a sustainable feedback culture in your organization.

What are the benefits of a Feedback Culture

Having the need for constant feedback is a healthy habit. With strong feedback habits, you have a steady method to grow and improve on your past mistakes. Without that, you can’t really know where you can improve and how. This is why establishing a good feedback culture is so important for managers and employees alike. All levels of an organization can benefit from a constant flow of feedback in several key areas.

  • It increases engagement. When you are willing to open up to others about your problems you feel another level of connection with your workplace and your team. You feel more comfortable and more motivated.
  • It helps with talent retention. Being comfortable enough to share different insights on your work helps you enjoy your workplace. That way, employees will feel as they belong there.
  • Establishes a better workplace environment. If an organization frequently recognizes their employees, they are offering a better work situation.
  • It doesn’t delay important subjects. Sometimes, feedback needs to be shared in a specific context, so delaying that may hurt the value of those insights. Constant feedback changes that, as you can get helpful information every day.
  • Leads to overall better performance. If you have a steady flow of information about your performance and attitude you can improve in an easier fashion. Feedback is a powerful tool because it can lead us to a better situation.

Each organization will know which benefits can better help their workforce reach their goals. It’s up to you as a manager to evaluate how can a feedback culture impact your work.

Practical Examples

A feedback culture can impact your daily routine in several different ways. It affects an organization in all levels, so it’s easy to see in which situations feedback has an integral part. It’s important to see how those situations translate in a practical manner.

1 – Don’t rely on middlemen.

Imagine that you have a situation where someone shares with your feedback about someone else. You, in that situation, are the middleman in a conversation that you shouldn’t be participating in that manner. Feedback should be given directly to the person you want to help.

2 – Explain why you are complimenting someone

If you want to give positive feedback, be sure to clarify the reason why you are giving positive reinforcement. When you say “I think you did a great job” you should follow that point with a conversation about the reasons for it. “You did well in (x)” is a good way to start

3 – Deliver helpful negative feedback

When correcting a behavior, instead of complimenting one, you should first ask if you can speak with that person or if he or she has time for that conversation. Also, ask their opinion about how they think they themselves performed. That will improve their ability to self reflect on their worth.

4 – Take your time to listen to feedback

Giving feedback is just as important as listening to it. Knowing how to react and act accordingly to feedback is a vital part of a feedback culture environment. This is the same for your employees as well. Define how would they like to be heard. Find the right channel for everyone in your organization, like an employee engagement tool such as Tap My Back.

5 – Make it regular feedback

In order for feedback to be an inherent part of a culture, it needs to be timely and recurrent. Set weekly or daily check-ins so that you have a constant stream of insights. A good practice would be to have a weekly check-in about certain projects or a daily check-in about what is everybody doing that day.

6 – Ask feedback and promote that to others

As a manager, you will need as many insights from your team as you can get. Remind them that their perspective matters and that you will need to know where you can improve as well. That attitude will establish an open communication environment that is key to a good feedback culture.

7 – Don’t be afraid to speak out

Maybe most important of all, don’t restrain yourself from being honest and stepping up to the task. While anonymous feedback can be useful, if you give a face to that insight, it will add value to it. Next time you have a complaint or a suggestion to make, be sure to “show your face” and promote that others do the same.

You can use these practical examples as tips as a “how to act” in a good feedback culture. We hope this was helpful to you in building a better workplace environment. In order to help you implement these principles, we designed this infographic to help you focus on certain behaviors.

Photo by Charles 🇵🇭 on Unsplash

Employee Feedback

The Ultimate Guide to Employee Feedback 2019

Nowadays, everybody has heard of the importance of employee feedback. It’s a basic need for every work team. When you know what others are doing and feeling, you feel more engaged in your workplace. Continuous work feedback helps you build stronger teams and it helps reducing employee turnover, which is a major concern for every organization. Managers need to pay more attention to their employee’s feedback, the questions now are how and why.

Feedback is an easy concept to understand at first. It’s sharing your reactions and opinions about something that happened before. Applying that to the workplace environment may be a little bit more complicated. The hard part is to understand what is implied in each feedback. Other questions start to pile up when addressing this topic.

What kind of feedback should you be looking for? How can you use that information to help you reach your goals? Is there good and bad feedback? How can I get honest feedback?

There are a lot of important questions you should ask about feedback because it’s a very complex topic when you really dive in. We tried to address the main concerns when referring to employee feedback, so that we could provide to you an insightful approach to this topic, answering the main questions.

Let’s start with the basics.

What is employee feedback and why is it important?

You can define employee feedback as sharing constructive insights about the workplace environment to your peers or higher-ups. It can and should come from every level of the organization. It’s the gathering of all that information from different perspectives that makes employee feedback so valuable.

Feedback is a reaction in its nature. It generates from what happens around you and at the same time you start to build an opinion about that. In any organization, feedback is essential in order for everyone to be productive and reach their potential.

Purpose

You need to remind yourself of why you are giving or asking for feedback. It should have a clear goal behind it. But in seemingly every case, feedback has one clear purpose: it’s the beginning of a conversation. It starts a dialogue about something that needs reinforcement, either to improve or compliment.

Feedback helps you maintain positive behaviors and correct bad ones. It should be helpful in understanding how everybody’s actions are reflecting on the company’s productivity. Employee feedback is crucial for growth in the workplace environment. It serves as a very important tool in making sure everybody in the organization improves on their work.

Positive and negative feedback

Feedback can be either positive or negative, but it should be accurate in assessing everybody’s performance. Positive feedback is complementing someone’s impact on the workflow of the company. It can be very valuable as it validates someone’s efforts and results. Everybody wants to feel recognized by their efforts at work, so positive feedback can be a great tool to motivate employees and improve overall workplace morale.

Negative feedback implies a need for change, something that needs improvement. It means that there is a situation that needs addressing, normally to correct it. Even though it refers to something negative, it should be embraced with a positive attitude, like all feedback. In fact, more employees consider negative feedback as more useful because it helps them grow by the point at what they need to improve.

Both positive and negative feedback are extremely helpful in maintaining a good workplace environment. They make you aware of what needs attention in your organization. Employees will also be aware of their impact in that same organization and what do they need to do next. Either being keeping up with the good work or improving some work behaviors. Good feedback will help them feel more engaged and motivated.

What is good and bad feedback?

You should always strive to give good and accurate feedback. That kind of feedback allows you to grow and improve your overall performance and behavior in the workplace environment. A good feedback culture is crucial for constant employee satisfaction, and therefore engagement. Bad feedback can be your worst enemy in that. It can leave you unsure of what you can do to improve, leading to a lack of engagement and career direction.

So what really sets good and bad feedback apart?

How can feedback be good?

In order for feedback to be good and useful, it should have a series of attributes. Feedback should be honest, straight to the point, and reflect truthful information. The more sincere an insight is, the more value it will have. You should always look for honest takes on you and your work. It makes you reflect on where you can improve, a point you can focus.

It should also be timely and continuous. You should be able to address feedback at the moment and strive for immediate improvement. Continuous honest feedback is a reliable source of workplace insights that will make you more aware of possible problems.

Like we mentioned before, feedback must always have a purpose. It should have a clear meaning, being that something that you should improve or maintain. Make sure that what you say may have an impact on others. That is the responsibility of who gives feedback

Employee feedback serves as a starting point to a discussion about your workplace environment. You may have noticed that the three examples we gave you ended with questions you should propose to your employees in those situations. It is crucial for them to realize that feedback ultimately is a growing process. We all need to try to be better at what we do. So it is important you start a dialogue about work issues.

How can feedback be bad?

Knowing what good feedback must-have, it is also easier to understand what you should avoid in feedback. That is what you can consider as bad feedback.

In that sense, bad feedback is feedback that limits what you can retrieve from those insights. Sometimes it’s with good intentions but fails at delivering concise and effective information. When it misses those points, it’s feedback that doesn’t help in your growth.

Feedback should always reflect a positive attitude, even when it’s negative. That way, problems could become opportunities to grow. If it doesn’t reflect that attitude it’s bad feedback. It ends up being critical for the sake of criticism only.

Bad feedback is, in general, feedback that fails to understand employee’s needs. In a growth mindset culture, that kind of feedback can be an obstacle that managers and employees alike need to go through. Always strive to give and ask for effective feedback as a way to prevent bad information to become a threat to employee engagement.

What are the benefits of employee feedback?

Sharing and gathering feedback brings several benefits to the workplace environment. You need to focus on the advantages that feedback can bring to your workforce and organization as a whole. So how can employee feedback help you?

You become more self-aware

Understanding what you can give as a worker is one of the more important steps in career growth. You need to be aware of what you can offer and where you are so that you can plan what do you want to become and where you want to be. Feedback allows you to understand where you need to focus. This is a crucial tool for leaders because it provides them with the information they need to settle a path for their employees to grow.

Most times, people don’t know what others feel about them. You may very well think others have a worse image about you than the image they actually have. You need to be aware of your own worth and impact on others and feedback is a great tool to do just that.

It focuses on the process instead of results

Employee feedback helps you understand “how” things are done much more than “what” was done. That focus on the process instead of the outcome is vital to improving on what was missing from the first try. Everybody has certain goals that they need to achieve, but if something is missing you’re not going to find that out by evaluating what is left to do but instead how did you do it.

Understanding what is missing in your workflow is a big part of why feedback is important. Little tweaks and improvements can always be implemented, and it all starts from an honest conversation about it.

Improves dialogue and therefore workplace relationships

You can only improve through honest conversations and that is the first step you need to take. So candid feedback helps build rich dialogue between you and your peers. By highlighting your strengths and weaknesses you are able to grow through that conversation and value the continuous aspect of feedback. The more frequent it is, the more workplace conversations are valued.

That open dialogue helps you build better work relationships, that can, therefore, help you improve. Relationships are built on trust from that dialogue. Sharing feedback is a mutually beneficial exchange as it allows both sides of that exchange to support each other. So that dialogue helps build stronger bonds between employees.

It helps you grow

Personal growth is a basic career need, we like to feel we are improving every day. Continuous employee feedback is the perfect tool to help in that need. It gives you a constant stream of insights you can use to develop new skills or improve certain behaviors.

An honest opinion about you helps you understand where you need to go and what do you need to be. By providing opportunities to grow, your workplace will be more enticing for employees to stay there long term. A good feedback culture helps in making your company a great place for people to grow their careers. It starts by implementing continuous feedback in order for you to be aware of your own performance.

It makes you accountable for your performance

When you know where you made mistakes you can assume your own responsibility for that and improve. That accountability is vital for overall company performance. You need to acknowledge your own impact so that you can determine the best plan of action.

If everybody takes responsibility for their own actions, then it’s easier for everybody else to perform according to their own expectations. Sharing feedback helps in maintaining an even field for anyone to take that responsibility. You become aware of your employees’ struggles and you can help them with those problems. It also helps employees perform better as they have a clear path to go through.

What is feedforward and why is it important?

When we defined feedback, we said that it was something that happened, referring to the past. As we try to use feedback as a tool to improve, we have to think about the future. In that sense, we came to the concept of feedforward, so what does it mean?

That concept was first introduced by Peter W. Dowrick and it is a learning method through which you can determine the best path for the future. Feedforward is different from feedback in the way that it focuses on improving for the future and not on trying to solve something that happened in the past. You should use feedforward has the ultimate tool to improve, as it is directly connected to potential growth. It’s valuing strengths and striving to improve those same strong points. It helps shape a better future based on your experience, the good and the bad.

It is important to adopt a feedforward approach because:

  • It’s better to correct past behaviors and make improvements than to just criticize employee’s mistakes.
  • While feedback is sometimes seen as a personal attack, feedforward strives on providing information that is useful for personal growth.
  • It doesn’t depend on past experiences, you can provide feedforward without prior personal information.
  • Drives change in your workplace in a more positive manner.
  • It promotes being “great” at something, not just settling for “good”.
  • Builds solutions and opportunities for everyone in your company.

It shares most of the same principles as feedback as it values honesty, specific insights, timely scheduling and it leads always to follow up questions in order to discuss what you can do better. Therefore, feedforward is feedback but driven to constant improvement and future development. It focuses solely on employee growth and providing new opportunities for that growth to expand to the entire company.

How can feedback help your performance?

Using feedback in order to improve is something we do on a day-to-day basis. We get insights about what we do and we interpret that information in a way that can help us in the future. Therefore, it can have a direct impact on your performance. You need to see where you failed or just needed a little improvement and work on it. That way you are evaluating your own impact and addressing what needs to change.

Feedback is basically a series of insights about performance. The two can be directly connected. Feedback keeps employees aware of their own efforts and their value. There are 2 main ways that feedback can help you perform better at work:

  • It can inform you. Feedback can illustrate where you need to improve or what behavior is recommended for that situation. It helps you have a better understanding of workplace needs and evaluate the impact of your actions.
  • It can motivate you. The emotional part of feedback is also very important for you to feel more engaged in what you are doing. Feedback gives you other perspectives about your workplace and about yourself that you can use as motivation.

Employee feedback, above all other things, values the potential of change and how that can improve your performance. The key principles were set on the previous topics, now is applying those guidelines to your everyday tasks. Self-evaluation is vital for any worker to understand where they could perform better, so feedback will always be a crucial part of employee performance.

What are performance reviews failing on?

As worker needs to keep getting more complex, the way you evaluate their performance should evolve as well. In that sense, traditional methods have failed to reflect an actual change in satisfying workplace demands. Annual performance reviews are outdated in the sense that they no longer accurately reflect workplace conditions.

One of the main problems is the lack of two-dimensional feedback between employee and manager. Normally, all of the feedback gathered by annual performance reviews is only accessible by management level. They are often very formal so it doesn’t reflect an open conversation environment. That limits employee growth because they remain not aware of where they can improve and they cannot have a healthy discussion about workplace problems.

There is also the problem that yearly data doesn’t accurately translate workplace dynamics. In a modern business, every week represents a whole new challenge, so limiting performance reviews to a year at a time can be an extremely biased analysis. Timely updates are needed in order to understand workplace dynamics.

Employees want more from their workplace and from their leaders. They need a day to day level of recognition in order to feel more engaged in their work. They want to talk about their careers and feel like they are growing with each challenge they encounter.

What is continuous feedback and why is it important?

With a clear need for daily feedback to better assess employee performance, you need to implement a more day-to-day or even week-to-week approach to gathering feedback. Having consistent daily feedback is a very valuable tool for any workforce. Self-improvement is something that you should strive to do every day, so having daily feedback is key for that effort.

In that way, continuous feedback is adopting methods and tools so that you can give and ask for feedback about yourself on a more frequent basis. It gains value when it’s more recurrent because it’s more accurate to the environment as it is evolving. Continuous feedback is fundamental for higher employee engagement.

You should look for that feedback to be timely and properly adapted to your workplace demands. As a manager, the feedback you provided needs to make sense accordingly to the context that it is given. When that happens, the feedback given has a clear purpose

Continuous feedback can also provide a constant stream of information and open dialogue. That kind of openness can help make things more transparent to everyone in the workplace environment. It helps in maintaining everyone up to date with current company issues.

The continuous nature of feedback is essential in making the modern-day employee more engaged in their workplace. As they are more demanding of their conditions and opportunities to grow, continuous feedback serves as a great tool to keep those employees happy and motivated. Feedback adapts to the needs of the people involved, so it’s important to always keep those needs as a priority.

How to give employee feedback?

Now that you understand clearly what good feedback is and why that is important, the main question now is how to give useful feedback? There are many strategies you can adopt. It should ultimately reflect how you see your employees and how do you want to help them grow.

You should give employee feedback on a continuous basis as it was mentioned before, but also strive for provoking certain emotions in your workforce. Trust is a crucial one. A good feedback culture can build trust within your team. Give feedback that can help employees trust you and feel safe sharing work problems.

You must act as things are happening, not after. This is why continuous feedback is that important. You should solve each situation as quickly as you can, so you must give feedback as soon as you can in order to recognize someone or solve some problem.

As we discussed before, your employee’s needs are a priority to you. You need to be aware of what drives them and what is concerning them so that you can be a better leader. Therefore, give them feedback that helps their goals and objectives. It could be positive or negative feedback, but one is not more valuable than the other. You just need to certify that you get your point across with honest and precise insights.

You need to give effective feedback

The best way to give useful employee feedback is by ensuring that feedback is effective. So what really is effective feedback? You need to ensure these following aspects:

  • Have a clear message and go straight to what needs improvement.
  • Be truthful to what do you stand for.
  • Don’t wait too much time to share important information.
  • Strive to make a positive change in your workplace.
  • Approach people on how they are dealing with their struggles.

Giving effective feedback is the goal of every manager. If you make sure your message gets across and you see results in your action, that validates your feedback culture. Seek to promote constant improvement to your employees through good, helpful and effective feedback.

How to ask for employee feedback?

You should give feedback on every opportunity you have but also consider asking for feedback about yourself. It’s very important to understand what kind of impact you are having on your peers. They might have relevant insights on how you can improve, so you should always give them a chance to share those insights. How can you do just that?

As a manager, you should seek advice about your job. Trusting other people’s opinion helps them feel valued and validated for their insights. You should ask for that feedback when you have the chance and retrieve those insights as advice to you to do a better job.

That last example showed how important asking feedback is for who asks and who gives, as it helps you and it validates other’s opinions. This is why you should ask for feedback on a more frequent basis. Making asking for advice and constructive insights a habit so that you can best utilize the opportunities feedback can give you.

Talking about negative feedback is always a tricky situation. You don’t want to feel disappointed by your efforts and you want to keep yourself motivated. However, questioning negative feedback and making it easier for others to give you that kind of feedback is essential because you need those insights in order to grow.

Also, try to vary with the feedback methods you apply. Sometimes a simple conversation is good for that situation. In other occasions, maybe a survey could be a better solution. Don’t create fatigue in your employees relating to the feedback you ask. Always make sure that they are up for sharing those insights.

How to receive employee feedback?

The way you deal with feedback is as important as you sharing and asking for feedback. Your approach to receiving employee feedback directly affects how the other person giving that information will act upon. You need to have a proper response strategy based a few key points:

Don’t be defensive in your response. Be open to constructive criticism and embrace that you can always improve on your work. Don’t try to fight other’s opinions and realize they can be a positive influence for you. It’s valuable information for you.

It’s important to be a good listener, but also make sure you understand what is being told to you. Seek for specific and candid information. That way you can determine the best way for you to act upon that feedback. If you have a complete understanding of the situation your judgement will be better in developing a solution.

Receiving feedback is vital towards understanding the importance of employee feedback in your organization. You need to make sure that the feedback you gathered is important in planning your follow up response. You will only be able to improve through good feedback, and how you receive and understand it defines your next approach to employee feedback.

How to reply to employee feedback?

The follow up to feedback is important in giving value to that exchange and improving workplace conditions. You need to know how you should respond to certain insights. Some situations will demand more of you and others won’t. It’s up to you to determine the best course of action. We provide you with some examples of how you can handle some of these situations.

This is a dangerous insight on someone that is feeling really bad about their current work situation. You need to approach him/her with caution and try to understand the situation before you set up a proper response. “What did others do that made you feel like this? When did you start feeling left out?”. As soon as you know what caused that feeling, you can think of a solution. “Have you tried talking to each one of them and understand what they are feeling? I think you should ask them for feedback about you”. By having a more nurturing approach you can start building trust between you and that employee.

This is clear positive feedback, and it also deserves a good response. First thing you should do is thanking that compliment and try to understand what behaviors are most responsible for that. “Thank you for your words. Where was I able to help you reach those goals?”. Like in every feedback sharing, a follow-up conversation is crucial. That way you can understand what needs reinforcement and deserves to be recognized.

The example provided reflects a situation where your own well being was put to the question. If this happens, you need to address the feedback received with the upmost honesty. In this case, tell a little about yourself, let other people know what you are feeling. “I have been through some personal issues, but I’m making strides in order to improve. I’m really sorry about the situation. Where can I be more of a helpful presence?”. This is a more approachable response to a tough question. You will be put to the test sometimes and it’s important that you can be honest in handling these situations that require a balance between your personal life and your work performance.

Key takeaways

Employee feedback is a very layered topic, it involves a lot of different issues that directly influence employee engagement and the company’s productivity. This guide addressed a lot of those issues and answered the most frequent questions surrounding the topic of employee engagement. After deliberating a lot about what we presented to you, we highlight these key takeaways:

  • Employee feedback is important because it’s a gathering of different perspectives on the organization that provides constructive insights on the workplace environment.
  • Feedback must have a clear purpose in order to help employees grow with it and to start a conversation about work issues.
  • Both positive and negative feedback are important so that you can be aware of your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Good feedback is built trough honest, timely and meaningful insights on your work performance.
  • Bad feedback is limited in its analysis and it lacks a positive attitude for the future.
  • Employee feedback brings you several benefits like self-awareness, addresses how you perform, it improves dialogue and relationships, it helps you grow and feel more accountable for your efforts.
  • The concept of feedforward is the idea of feedback-driven towards building a path for the future.
  • Employee feedback helps you perform better at your job because it informs you where you need to improve and it recognizes your efforts.
  • Traditional performance reviews are outdated because they don’t reflect the everyday changes of your workforce and your workplace environment.
  • Feedback should be continuous because it helps you improve every day by providing you with precise information about your performance.
  • When you give feedback you should focus on giving honest, timely and meaningful takes on your work environment so that it can be effective feedback.
  • You should focus on asking useful advice to your employees in order to use that feedback to improve your performance in a more consistent way.
  • Receive feedback as vital insights for your personal growth and helpful information to improve your workplace environment.
  • Your reply to employee feedback should reflect your concern to help others and yourself to grow and build trustful relationships with your peers.
Great Leaders

How to equip your managers to become great leaders

Great managers can and should become great leaders. The opinion is still varied regarding this topic. Managing and leadership require different soft skills but both are only best utilized when combined together. Managers are more driven when they are leaders. Leaders are only efficient when they properly manage their teams. The focus is now on how to equip managers to become great leaders.

In this context, how can a manager become a good leader? First, let’s define each one.

Managers strive for performance perfection. They plan and coordinate tasks in a work team so that everyone does their job properly. Leaders focus on providing direction. They inspire their team to reach further and strive to maintain that level of motivation.

Each function is crucial for a company’s overall productivity, but although some view them as separate jobs, one can’t work without the other. The best managers are generally the best leaders. Few people can master both jobs, but when they do, they are able to generate great results out of engaged work teams. As a result of this train of thought, great companies see both functions as one job.

As workforce demands keep getting more complex, management-level personnel need to adapt to the talent available. In the modern workplace, managers need to be active leaders in order to bring the best out of their teams. There are a few key aspects a manager needs to focus on his leadership.

Equip managers to become great leaders with 10 simple tips

In order to equip managers with great leadership skills, you need to know in which subjects they should focus on. This is how you should approach them:

1 – Be a good communicator

Great leaders are normally great communicators. They know how and when to speak up as well as knowing when to listen. This is also a common trait among great managers. It’s very important to ensure that your message reaches its intended target the right way.

As a leader you need to show your point to people, so improving your communication skills is crucial. You have to generate an impact on others when you speak.

2 – Delegate tasks

Great leaders don’t try to do all the work by themselves. Micromanaging your team is bad, you should give them the autonomy to do their own work and have the room to be creative.

Empowering others is a daily task for a great leader. You need to delegate tasks so that you show your employees you trust them and their ability to get positive results. This is a great way to motivate your workforce.

3 – Be a positive thinking role model

Having a positive attitude is always helpful for you as a manager to maintain everybody else cheerful as well. Being that kind of presence helps others feel motivated towards reaching their goals. Great leaders are always a positive presence surrounding their team.

That attitude is crucial for motivating your employees to achieve greatness and to keep them on a growing path. Be a great and positive influence on others and they will recognize in you a leader.

4 – Keep improving yourself

Everybody has its flaws and skills they wished to improve. You as a leader do as well. Always strive to be a little bit better every day and learn from your mistakes. Take time to reflect on when you went wrong or look for room for improvement. By doing that, you don’t fall into repeating your own mistakes.

Even when you are leading a team of people, you will always be in a learning process. Great leaders strive for personal improvement every day. That commitment to evolving is what sets great leaders apart.

5 – Value feedback culture

In order to grow as a leader and the organization as a whole, you need to address the value of good and honest feedback. You give timely feedback to your team members and you should ask for that same feedback about your performance. That continuous exchange of feedback helps your entire team grow as a unit as well.

You can improve through other’s insights on your work. Honest feedback is fundamental for employee engagement and that should be one of your main priorities as a leader. We here at Tap My Back focus on providing leaders with the right tools and methods to gather feedback and build more engaged teams.

6 – Have a clear vision of your goals

You can’t lead without a proper strategy. In order for you to properly lead a team, you need to set a clear direction for them. That is one of the most skills a leader must have but important to focus none of the less.

Great leaders adapt their managing style to their team’s goals. They can be the architects of an organization’s success by implementing the blueprints for employee engagement and productivity. For that to happen, you should know your company’s strengths and flaws so that your plan encompasses the entire structure of the organization.

7 – Use a people-centric approach

Your team members and peers are the greatest assets of your organization. You should treat them as such and should make them a priority in planning towards your organization’s goals.

With most companies nowadays struggling with the issue of talent retention, having a people-centric approach seems like a sensible way of addressing your workforce. You need to listen to their needs and integrate those insights into your overall planning.

8 – Manage your own time

Time is a finite resource, so you need to properly adjust your schedule to your team’s needs. Great leaders know what to prioritize and when to prioritize certain issues. You will need to make decisions quickly in order to provide your company with a marketplace advantage.

It is also very important that you know when to take a break. Sometimes you will be over-stressed to deal with your employee’s problems. Give yourself the time to recover lost energies that you will need in order to lead adequately.

9 – Value the diversity of talent

During your professional life, you will meet very different people with different skills. As a leader, you will need to embrace the variety of talent you have in your team and best adjust their effort to the overall company performance.

You should value each person as an individual and not just as part of your team. What may work for one person, may not work for others. You should also restrain yourself from discriminating someone for their sex, age or religion. Get to know those people and what drives them. Knowing your team well is crucial for every great leader.

10 – Be faithful to your passion and ethical integrity

Great leaders have a tendency to be very passionate about what they believe. They are a very contagious presence in the workplace and can motivate others to reflect their own values.

As a leader, you should never compromise what you believe in so that others see in you a trustworthy example. Ethics are very important to maintain in the workplace environment and you should always treat others with honesty. Your actions must be aligned with your morals and values in order to be a respectful presence.

Managers need to focus more on building strong leadership relationships with their employees. Through these 10 tips, you should have a better understanding of where to focus your leadership efforts. Did you find this helpful? Lets us know! Send your questions and comments to hello@tapmyback.com

Pulse Surveys

How to use Pulse Surveys to understand how your team is feeling

The modern workplace is changing and changing fast. Managers have realized that traditional annual employee surveys are outdated. They don’t accurately reflect the mindset behind building engaged work teams. So what can you do to understand the ever-growing workplace dynamics? One quick answer: Pulse Surveys.

Pulse surveys have emerged as a great method of assessing employee engagement. It can give you important insights about the overall team mood and productivity. It differs from traditional annual performance surveys because it reflects a more day to day approach to employee engagement. They are also much easier to answer and much less time-consuming.

According to Gallup, only 27% of workers think the feedback they normally get helps them in their work. Just 17% think there is open communication throughout the organization. We can conclude that there is definitely a need for continuous communication and feedback.

You can schedule Pulse Surveys to have a more steady and reliable feedback source. Continuous feedback is becoming ever more important to management decisions. Managers need to implement methods like pulse surveys to have those insights. By doing that, they can build stronger and more engaged teams.

As its own name says, it reflects the pulse of the company. As a pulse, it changes over time. You need to be aware of ups and downs in order to adapt to your workforce’s needs. With a survey, you will be able to focus on what you want to know about them, from their basic thoughts to their critics about their workplace.

What can pulse surveys do for you?

As a quick guide on how to use pulse surveys we provide 8 guidelines to help you best utilize this method:

1 – It’s all about collecting real-time insights

You can now gather real-time feedback you can act upon in order to improve the workplace environment. This is a major upgrade from annual performance surveys. A continuous source of information about your employees helps you stay aware of mood changes and work-related problems. You need to schedule pulse surveys in order to plan in accord with your workflow priorities.

2 – Check how your team is feeling

Mood changes happen all the time and that can be a problem to workplace morale. For a leader, it’s crucial to know what’s affecting that morale. Is working becoming more repetitive and stale? Pulse surveys are a good method to understand those work dynamics and to know when to mix things up. Tap My Back‘s mood feature may be helpful to you. It is presented as a pulse survey, and you can activate it anytime and check your peer’s current mood.

3 – Complementary tool to management

Most of the times, team leaders struggle to manage their teams because they fail to understand how their employees really feel. All the feedback you can gather from pulse surveys can assist you in making managing decisions. Understand your employees as people and then you will make them strive as workers.

4 – They can be a great idea source

A pulse survey is basically a recollection of insights. You will value some over others, but all are valuable to an extent. Sometimes, the best insights can be the start of a great idea. Value that feedback as a way to make your employees feel important in the workplace dynamic.

5 – Address all workflow problems

There are always some issues that don’t quite get the awareness they need. A pulse survey provides you with a 360 approach to the workplace environment. You can use that level of understanding to address all problems who find and make adjustments.

6 – Watch out for survey fatigue

It’s good to check on your employees from time to time but be aware of question repetitions. As you plan your surveys in advance you need to define why they are important.  Make sure that what you ask is relevant and interesting to your employees.  That way, they feel much more motivated to give their own opinion.

7 – Establish a communication channel

Like we mentioned before, this type of surveys serve as a way to team managers to establish another communication source with their employees. You identify problems through important insights and you adjust to solve them. That is why good communication channels are crucial to your workplace. Pulse Surveys can serve as a more in-depth solution than just normal conversations.

8 – It can help improve overall company performance

Overall employee performance depends on a series of engagement metrics like motivation or well-being. Those metrics should be addressed by pulse surveys in order to show your team members you value those issues. You can evaluate the impact of your team in the company overall performance and then make adjustments to improve that same performance.

Start using pulse surveys, give it a try!

Keep these tips in mind and explore the benefits of implementing pulse surveys in your work teams. Tap My Back has a variety of Pulse Survey templates that are available to you. You can edit and create new templates that can best reflect what you need for your team. It can help you be a more dynamic presence as a leader. We hope you found this helpful. Any questions or comments you may have sent us to hello@tapmyback.com

Employee experience – The XXI corporate super power

How can Employee Experience help retain employees

Employee Experience is about focusing on long term change, evolving and modifying the core workplace practices. The big shift that we’re seeing is moving away from working within the system to actually changing what that system.

Employee Experience – An interview with Jacob Morgan

Tap My Back  – The most intuitive employee feedback software

 

employee experience bookJacob Morgan is a 3x best-selling author, keynote speaker, and futurist.

His latest book is “The Employee Experience Advantage: How to Win the War on Talent by Giving Employees the Workspaces they want, the Tools they Need and a Culture They Can Celebrate” (Wiley, March 2017), which is based on an analysis of over 250 global organizations.

In this interview, Jacob goes through the concept of employee experience and its potential impact on a company’s ability to retain talent. Based on his on-field extensive research he claims employee experience is the next level of employee engagement. And that the organizations that are already investing in it will obtain a competitive advantage in the XXI century.

Find out what is beyond this superpower to retain talent.

How did your journey on subjects such as the future of work and employee experience start?

Sure, basically it started with me having bad jobs working for other people. After I graduated college I went to work for a company in Los Angeles. I was told that I was going to be doing a lot of fun and wonderful projects. Instead, I was doing data entry and cold calling.

Then, one day the CEO asked me to go get him a cup of coffee… That was one of the last jobs I’ve ever had working for somebody else.

Ever since I became very interested in and passionate about the future of work and employee experience. So, bad jobs working for other people was the main reason why.

 

Can you explain what does “Employee experience” mean?

Employee engagement has been very valuable to us. Unfortunately, the big problem is that it has always acted as kind of an adrenaline shot inside of our organizations.

Typically what happens is that an organization does an annual employee engagement survey. Then, they find out that employees are relatively unhappy and they try to introduce some kind of a perk. This includes free food, maybe work from home on Friday, you know, some kind of a perk. The problem with that is that it does very little to motivate employees.

What are the advantages for companies investing on it? Does it help to retain talent?

Instead, what we’re starting to see is this shift from engagement to employee experience. This is actually changing the core workplace practices around how employees work. The concept involves neither adding perks nor focusing just on the short term change. Rather, it focuses on long term change, you know, evolving and modifying the core workplace practices.

The big shift that we’re seeing is moving away from working within the system to actually changing what that system.

Within companies which department/position should assume employee experience as a responsibility?

Well, we’re starting to see a little bit of a mix here. In most organizations, the department that typically drives these initiatives is in HR. We usually see those people being more responsible for driving this kind of change.

It’s something that everyone should be responsible for. From the CEO of the organization to the managers that help drive employee experience to the employees.

Employees are responsible for speaking up and sharing their own ideas around what they want their experiences to be.

So, everybody has some accountability when it comes to employee experience. But, as far as the team that’s going to be rolling this out across the company it’s typically in HR.

What’s the major aspect that distinguishes the high ranking companies from the ones ranking lower? In terms of the employee experience index you developed.

Well, there are a few things actually.

Employee experience is pretty much a combination of three things: culture, technology and physical space. So the highest ranking organizations, first of all, do the best job of investing in culture, technology, and physical space.

They create great offices, great physical environments where employees want to show up to. Furthermore, they give employees access to the best, latest and greatest technology, so that the workforce can do their jobs. And finally, they invest in making their employees feel good about the work that they’re doing in the organization.

So these high raking organizations have managers and people in positions of power who genuinely care about others.

These are organizations that do a very good job of understanding their people! Both through 1-on-1 conversations and also through data in people analytics.

These are also organizations that think more like a laboratory and less like a factory. They embrace failure, they test ideas, they experiment with different concepts. And that’s really what allows them to go above and beyond everyone else.

From all the companies that you have researched about, what was the one strategy that surprised you the most?

One of the most important things is to realize that organizations have to create with their people, not for their people. So, it’s not about coming up with an idea and just building something and showing it to the people who work there. It’s about incorporating people into the process design, in the creation process for employee experience.

You have to really understand what your people care about, what they value and then, you build experiences based on that.

It’s sort of like going out on a date or being in a relationship where you really have to know your spouse, you really have to try to get to know the person you’re going out on a date with.

The same is true inside our companies. We really need to get to know our people as best as we can. In the end, it’s not about doing something specific. It’s about a way of thinking and getting what the employees feel.

Why currently, more than ever before it’s fundamental to attract the best talent?

This is a huge issue for corporations around the world and it continues to be a huge issue especially as we talk about this world of automation. The world is rapidly changing and there are conversations around a skills gap.

I believe every organization in the world can exist without technology. But, no organization in the world can exist without people.

We need to remember that even in this rapidly changing world people are still the number one asset we can’t forget. That’s why it’s never been more important and crucial to invest in employee experience.

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Still about talent, based on your research, what company do you think would be more successful?

A: The one that provides the best employee experience of the market
B: The other that has the most talented people on their staff?

 

Well, both because you’re not going to have the best talent unless you invest in employee experiences. So, it’s kind of hard to say if it is more valuable to have a company that has great employee experiences or talented people.

Because the talented people are going to go where the best employee experiences are.

So if you want to be able to attract and retain the best people then you have to invest in culture, technology and physical space.

Many business owners say they don’t focus on employee experience because they don’t have the budget to. Is it something that requires a big spending?

I don’t think it is. Not having a budget isn’t a good excuse for why you shouldn’t be investing in employee experience.

First of all, it doesn’t cost a lot of money to treat people well. Investing in employee experience is something every organization is doing in one way or the other. So if you choose to ignore culture, technology and physical space, these things will still happen, you can’t control it.

We see this inside of social media all the time, it’s sort of like saying: if you don’t have a social media profile and your customers are talking about you online, should you be listening?

The experience is going to be created one way or the other. It will be created based on what your organization designs or from you ignoring doing any type of purposeful design.

So if it’s going to be one way or the other, you might as well take some accountability. Try to shape what it’s like to work at your company instead of just letting it happen on its own.

It is true that some money is required obviously, when you think about technology, physical space, education and training. But these are investments that organizations are already making anyway. So it’s just a matter of making these investments the right way.

Imagine a situation where a CEO approached you looking for advice. Even though he never heard about employee experience he feels there has to be some way to improve workforce commitment and engagement.

What would you tell him to do first ?

The very first thing that I would tell anybody to do first is to put people in positions of power who care about others. You have to genuinely have managers and leaders at the organization who care about the other people who work there.

That’s step one. If you don’t have that, then nothing nothing else is going to matter.

The second thing, and I touched on this earlier, is you have to truly know your people. I mean you really need to get to know the people who work at your company.

So look those are the two places I’d start:
1. Put people in positions of power who genuinely care about others
2. Invest in genuinely getting to know and understand your people and what they care about a lot

 

Thanks for the read, what do you think? Do you agree with Jacob’s view on employee experience versus employee engagement?


Jacob’s work has been endorsed by the CEOs of: Cisco, Whirlpool, T-Mobile, Best Buy, SAP, Nestle, KPMG, Schneider Electric and many others.

Jacob is also the founder of “The Future If”, a global community of business leaders, authors, and futurists who explore what our future can look like. Visit TheFutureIf.com or The Future Organization.

 

Create Team
Growth mindset

Five Ways to Encourage a Growth Mindset in Your Company

Keeping your team motivated and engaged is really important if you are striving to maintain a positive workplace. If you’re able to cultivate and develop staff who are happy then the benefits of this will soon start to show! A growth mindset amongst your workplace will really help when it comes to creating the right kind of environment in which individuals can thrive. But how do you go about creating and encouraging that?

 

   1. Make it part of the day-to-day at work

By weaving in a growth mindset into the every day, you’ll be directly encouraging and supporting your team to adopt this way of thinking. This, in turn, will help them to apply it to their time at work.

There are a few ways that you can easily guide your company in this direction:

  • Make courses and training easily accessible. Having a growth mindset is all about wanting to learn and expand, so what better way to encourage your team to do this than supporting them and helping them learn new skills.
  • Empower them to set their own goals. By handing over this over to your team, you are encouraging them to commit to their own growth.
  • Support the weird and wonderful ideas. Often, individuals can be uncertain about coming forward with ideas because they are worried that they won’t be well received. Stamp out this culture by making it clear that no idea is a bad idea.

 

   2. Make it okay to fail

More often than not, individuals and teams of people are worried to take a chance for fear of failure. As is the case for many companies, figures such as productivity, efficiency, and sales are the focus – with financial bonuses attached.

However, when all of these are being so closely monitored, staff are less likely to want to push the boat out and be more experimental. Don’t let this be to your company’s detriment. Focus on learning and improvement-based objectives where appropriate, rather than the end result. This will create a better, healthier balance at work.

 

   3. Make employee feedback frequent

Show your staff that they matter as an individual and afford them the time to have “regular and frequent feedback” -> “continuous feedback” sessions. How else do you expect them to learn and know that they are on the right track if you don’t tell them? This is crucial to helping your team stay motivated.

Even if you, as a business leader, are unable to have continuous feedback sessions with your team as often as you would like, make sure that your staff understands how important their development is to you. If you have specialists in your company, give them time to give continuous feedback to others. This will help to take the pressure off your time too.

 

   4. Make sure to remove unhealthy competitiveness

There are many who thrive in a competitive environment. But that most certainly isn’t always the case and, when so much of our days are spent at work, too much competition can be a bad thing.

A growth mindset is about self-motivation. To work, a growth mindset needs to come from the individual and their own want to learn and improve. Many companies, whether realizing it or not, rank their staff from lowest to highest performing. This doesn’t take into account personal development and individual learning curves.

If praise and rewards are only handed out to those who “do the best”, this puts off those that are trying and improving. If you want to encourage a growth mindset, make sure you put in place the right structure internally for individuals to work towards.

 

   5. Make sure you lead by example

Everyone, no matter what their job title, can adopt and benefit from a growth mindset. We can all learn more and improve our skills, especially in areas that don’t come so naturally to us.

If you are keen to encourage a growth mindset in your company, show your staff that you are also on board with this. Instead of backing away from a task that you struggle with, try having a go. Or, speak to a team member who is better at that kind of thing and learn from them, don’t just ask them to do it for you!

A growth mindset is beneficial for everyone and can build a more productive and positive working environment. By focusing on and encouraging self-improvement, you’ll soon find that the company improves as a whole.

 

Andrew Margison, founder and director of ZZap Ltd, is an international supplier of banknote counters listed amongst the top 10 businesses in London for the Lloyds TSB Enterprise Awards. Andrew holds a 1st Class Honours Degree in Business Studies and regularly contributes to various business publications.