Key to Employee Retention: Valuable Employer Feedback about Future Career Prospects

October 27, 20158:35 am1472 views

More so often, employees are groping in the dark and have little to no idea on their future career prospects with their current company, this propels attrition in organisations. Hence, one of the keys to employee retention is to communicate vividly to all employees about the long-term organisational goals.

Further, HR managers should facilitate candid face-to-face interaction with every employee to discuss their future career path and recognise their contribution towards the higher objective. This makes employees feel valued towards their job and respected for their contribution towards the organisation goals.

An interesting finding according to a recent research study by Robert Half Finance & Accounting found that employees want more feedback on their future from the boss. Nearly one in three (28 per cent) professionals said their managers never discuss their career paths with them.

The data further suggests that professionals are hungry for this valuable information to see themselves as an integral part of the bigger picture: 41 per cent said they would like to discuss their career paths at least quarterly; another 45 per cent want to review their options annually.

“Managers who engage their employees in regular career conversations demonstrate a vested interest in their staff’s growth, underscoring their commitment to retention and professional development,” said Greg Scileppi, president of Robert Half, International Staffing Operations.

Employees are left in the dark about career prospects at work: professionals want to discuss their career path but don't often get the chance (CNW Group/Robert Half Finance & Accounting)Here are three key tips for managers on how to conduct career path discussions with employees:

  1. Ask employees about their objectives. Never assume you know where team members want to take their careers – not everyone wants to follow a linear path to the top. If you don’t know where staff members want to go, you can’t help them get there.
  2. Be up front about expectations. Educate your employees about the experience or skills needed to reach their goals, and then lay out a specific plan – including leadership development, mentoring and training opportunities – to help them achieve success.
  3. Don’t wait for the annual performance review. Set periodic check-ins with your employees to discuss their progress or where they need to make improvements to move up within your organization.

See: Employer Feedback: 5 Things Your Boss Would Like to Know

To substantiate the above information, recent findings and recommendation by Eagle Hill Consulting detailed in a whitepaper titled, Feedback on Feedback, Five Ways to Create a Constructive Feedback Culture  reveal that despite the high value many employees place on feedback, only 60 percent of respondents report that their work environment supports a culture of feedback.  Only 44 percent said that they receive regular feedback on their work.

Eagle Hill Consulting proposes five small steps in Feedback on Feedback that organizations can take to improve the practice of employees and supervisors giving, receiving, and soliciting feedback:

  1. Provide frequent feedback. Organizations should create formal and informal channels that facilitate frequent peer and supervisorial feedback instead of relying exclusively on annual or semi-annual performance appraisal cycles. Nearly 60 percent of surveyed respondents reported that they would like to receive feedback on a daily or weekly basis—a number that increased to 72 percent for employees under age 30.
  2. Deliver feedback in person. The majority of employees, 78 percent, preferred to receive feedback in person. Emailing feedback or discussing it over the phone may be the only option in a time-crunch or with a geographically dispersed staff, but these should not be the go-to methods of communication.
  3. Recognize when changes are made as a result of feedback. It takes practice to develop a comfort level with constructively soliciting and receiving feedback. A key way to support feedback is to recognize when employees make improvements as a result of it.
  4. Encourage peer and “360 degree” feedback. More than 85 percent of survey respondents stated that they receive feedback primarily from their supervisors and more than 75 percent believe that feedback is valuable. About 45 percent of respondents also value feedback from their peers and clients or customers, yet less than 30 percent said they receive it. Organizations can address this gap by fostering a supportive, comfortable workplace with appropriate systems in place that enable employees to receive additional feedback from their peers or clients.
  5. Offer feedback training for both supervisors and employees. Company-wide trainings help set expectations, promote and reinforce best practices, share helpful resources, and rally a workforce to take steps to change together. However, the survey showed that only about a quarter of organizations provide any feedback-related training for employees or supervisors and less than 10 percent offered trainings on how to receive and solicit feedback. Organizations can start small with an introductory training session.

Scileppi added: “These essential discussions provide supervisors the chance to not only boost employee morale, but also to gain valuable feedback about the business and improve internal operations through ongoing staff insight.”

Also read: [Employee Retention Tips] 10 Ways to Retain an Employee

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