Do you have a New Year resolution? If you work in HR, or manage a small business, you should have three resolutions: innovate, innovate and innovate.
As we enter 2017, SMEs have to be prepared for the new wave of HR and Management innovation to recruit talent and keep them engaged. According to a Deloitte report, Human Resource Leaders need to rethink their practices entirely.
One of the most important areas of innovation today is real time feedback. Feedback is often associated with discouraging employees, but it could also be used as a tool to motivate and engage your team after a successful project. If you want your business to thrive, better be prepared.
Companies such as Accenture, Deloitte or Microsoft have changed their old performance management processes to real-time feedback. Why was their motivation to do so? Pierre Nanterme, Accenture CEO told The Washington Post that they wanted to implement a more fluid system in which employees receive instant feedback from their managers on an ongoing basis.
Here are 3 key ways to use real time feedback to improve engagement in your workplace.
1. Positive Reinforcement
Positive reinforcement is a simple psychology concept that involves adding a stimulus following a behavior to encourage or discourage the behavior. You would probably have experienced this many times before. For example, your parents gave you a sweet when you put on your best behavior as a kid. Similarly, at the workplace, giving positive feedback after good performance will reinforce their good behavior.
Such positive reinforcement should be carried out and communicated in real-time to reach the highest effect. People can associate the positive feedback with good performance more if they get it instantly and not hours, weeks or months after the project. You can easily motivate your employees by sending them a short message e.g. ‘Good job on this project, John’ and sharing more details about what you especially liked in his job. Sending them immediate feedback improves engagement as people will feel more valued and motivated.
Something went wrong? If the results of the projects are different than you expected, you could also point out how it should be improved. By communicating negative feedback real-time, you can help employees correct their mistakes quickly and improve their performance.
Use 360-degree feedback to improve engagement
Other than giving regular top-down feedback, it is useful to have a 360-degree feedback exercise to let employees get an all-rounded view of their strengths and weaknesses. Never heard of a 360-degree feedback? It’s a multi-source feedback including feedback from colleagues, supervisors and self-evaluation. It’s extremely complicated to do it manually, because you have to collect and analyze feedback from many sources. Do you want to do it manually? We don’t think so. Use a 360-degree survey software like Justlogin’s JustAppraisal to send out the right feedback for the right employees automatically, and to collect and analyze the results. Avoid sending the wrong survey to the wrong person, and save the time that you would spend with analyzing the results yourself.
As employees get feedback real-time, they become more engaged to work harder on the next project because they immediately feel that their results are appreciated.
2. Year Round Performance Management
The Management and HR team need to constantly touch base with their teams to improve efficiency and to avoid mistakes caused by lack of communication. You need to encourage regular engagement and consistent performance throughout the year. According to Jeff Miller, Learning & Development Manager for Cornerstone employees globally, feedback “should be delivered regularly as a way to continue to inspire and motivate your team, because teams are motivated when they feel invested in”.
The easiest way to stay in touch with the team is to use regular performance management feedback. Having a cloud HR software can be perfect for providing real time feedback even for team members that are traveling a lot.
Giving feedback personally or sending it in an email makes the whole process hard to follow. And that’s a problem because tracking the results of learning and the increased achievement would be the point in giving feedback, right?
So it’s essential for you to keep proper record and track the feedback you give. It will make it easier for you and for your team to follow feedback, measure their results and improve engagement.
3. Employee Surveys
How often do you ask for your employees’ opinion? How about using surveys to ask your team to comment on anything, and make them more engaged in the process. If people feel that they are involved in the decision making, they will be more engaged and dedicated to do their best and achieve higher results. It’s not crucial to ask for the team’s opinion before every single decision, but there are great ways to use a survey, for example to decide about the next team building trip location.
Using a survey is made easier when using real-time applications. Design your survey in seconds, send out to team members and you will get instant feedback about any questions you have. It’s also a great tool to support major decisions.
Another way to make employees more engaged is to use virtual suggestion boards to collect their thoughts and opinions easily. At Justlogin, we use Trello.com to collect our team’s suggestions on all aspects of our company, from new software features to develop, to pantry food suggestions. Good suggestions get implemented immediately! You can also use anonymous suggestion boxes like Suggestionox.com to get anonymus feedback real-time. Research shows that employees that feel listened are better team players and provide input more frequently.
In your quest for real-time feedback, digital HR tools will be essential to use in 2017. Instant and regular performance management and employee surveys can help to improve engagement in your workplace, and keep your employees motivated.