Our recent research* highlights the enormous desire employees have to find out how well they’re doing. Half of respondents said that feedback on their performance was the most important outcome that they wanted from their regular check-ins with their line manager. The wish for feedback was significantly higher than for any other response, with direction on current projects coming second at 32% and development opportunities third at 31%. This shows the depth of feeling that employees have on this subject and how much they want to develop themselves and maximise their performance levels.
The survey shows there is room for managers to improve in this area. Only 57% of employees said that they were currently receiving feedback in their check-ins. If this is the case, large numbers of employees are missing out on receiving vital information and employers are missing the ideal opportunity to help their staff develop and perform to their full potential. When you consider 4 in 10 employees are actively disengaged when they receive little or no feedback,** failure to include it within check-ins could have serious consequences and be a major own goal for organisations.
Feedback is most important to Gen Z employees just entering the workforce. Almost two thirds of those aged 18 to 24 (65%) cited it as the most important outcome from check-ins. Those starting out on their careers are keen to know what they are doing well and what could be improved. Not providing this information could impact their drive and enthusiasm, and even mean they leave the organisation, as they look elsewhere to build their careers.
Perhaps surprisingly, a high proportion of 45 to 54-year olds (59%) also stated that feedback on their performance was the most important outcome from check-ins. Employees in this age bracket have experienced enormous changes in the workplace since the beginning of their careers. They have had to learn new ways of working and have seen technology evolve at an ever-increasing rate. Many are not thinking of retirement and want to continue to learn and develop to maintain their relevance and value to employers. This is a major change from previous generations and employers need to be aware that feedback is important to all employees, not matter their age or the stage they are at in their career.
Feedback is particularly important to those employees working in larger organisations with 1,000 or more employees. 56% of respondents in these companies stated it was the most important outcome from their check-ins. The reason behind this could be that these employees tend to work in larger departments with more disparate teams compared to those in smaller organisations, and it is perhaps easier to feel less valued or overlooked in this environment. Regular feedback gives employees in these organisations the reassurance that what they are doing is making a difference.
Our found, Roly Walter - “Employees today want to take control of their careers and be proactive when it comes to their own development. Having relevant, timely and practical feedback is a vital part of this process and should be an essential part of any check-in.”
“We’re developing Appraisd so employees can be proactive about getting feedback for themselves, reducing their reliance on their line manager to lead the process. They will be able to ask for it any time and from any colleague - for example, at the end of a project they can request feedback to find out what went well and what could be improved. If you would like to know more about this feature, please get in touch.”
Read our full report Checking in on check-ins to find out more about what employees want from their regular meetings with their line managers.
*Survey conducted by OnePoll with 1,000 UK employees working in organisations with 50 employees or more in April 2019.