Let's Talk Retention: The Benefits of Employee Feedback

Employee feedback & retention are two sides of the same coin, one can’t do without the other. Learn how to use feedback to retain

January 23, 2023
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The Great Resignation is far from over. 

In fact, according to the most recent JOLTS data, 4.2 million Americans quit their jobs in November, bringing the total for 2022 to 46.6 million. People are less likely to stay at jobs they find unfulfilling. And experts, now more than ever, are becoming increasingly difficult to hire and retain, even with the expanded talent pool that remote and hybrid work models provide. 

How then can employees ensure that hired talent stays in the company?

It boils down to a somewhat simple strategy. Employee feedback.

Employers must endeavor to create an environment where employees are supported, cared for, and listened to. Regular feedback and talks about expectations help to ensure that everyone is content and successful in their work. 

What is employee feedback?

Employee feedback is the exchange of constructive information between employees and fellow employees or employees and leadership based on skills, performance, or behavior in a team. Feedback can occur in different ways. It could be:

  • Management-Employee
  • Employee-Management
  • Employee-to-Employee
  • Management-to-Management

Employee feedback enhances performance, guarantees that standards are followed, and gives workers a sense of contribution to the business. It is a crucial component of employee engagement and aids firms in retaining talent.

Why is feedback important for retention?

Employee feedback is critical in creating a friendly business culture that motivates people to achieve their best, develop, and advance. Regular check-ins with your staff allow you to get a sense of how they feel and what they are struggling with, and if there are any difficulties, you can solve them one-on-one.

When people feel supported, recognized, and heard, they’re less likely to seek validation from your competition.

According to the Work Institute, employee turnover costs can go as high as 30% of the employee's salary. And that’s a friendly number. Gallup puts it at half and sometimes 2x an employee’s salary.

Anyhow you look at it, it's obvious that high turnover rates are detrimental to any business in the long term. With employee feedback, not only do you preemptively tackle any underlying issues, but you also strengthen the bond between the company and your employees. Thus, improving your employee retention rate.

Employee feedback and retention are inseparable. However, regular feedback also offers other benefits, let's look at a few below.

1. Improves collaboration and team cohesion

Two-way feedback is beneficial for teamwork. When employees can trust that there are open lines of communication, they’re better able to put more effort and passion into their work. Team productivity also increases and you end up with happy employees and happier management.

2. Increases employee morale and engagement

Employees that feel heard are usually happy and content with their work. This has an overarching influence on team morale and consequently increases productivity. However, employees who don’t feel seen or recognized are more likely to feel unmotivated or stressed. These employees are disengaged and may reduce their contribution to the business or opt for other companies.

According to Gallup’s State of The Global Workplace Report, business units with engaged workers have 23% higher profit compared with business units with miserable workers.

Therefore, improving staff morale through regular pulse surveys, performance reviews, and employee recognition programs, may have a significant influence on your ROI.

Read more on how to engage disengaged employees.

3. Increases business adaptability

It’s much easier to navigate changes and industry challenges when employers and employees are on the same page. Sometimes, your employees may be the ones that save your business from disaster with their ingenious and timely feedback.

On the other hand, when employees aren’t carried along in crucial business decisions or made to seem inferior, they become dissatisfied and may search for organizations that will give them the recognition they deserve. 

Does feedback improve retention?

Constructive feedback cultivates a sense of belonging in employees which often translates to their continued stay. Retained employees mean better customer service, improved team collaboration, and access to employee retention perks like the Employee Retention Credit Scheme under the CARES Act.

Companies suffering employee retention challenges may find answers to their problems in a carefully crafted employee survey or feedback form.

Other ways to give and receive feedback include:

  • One-on-ones
  • Informal feedback
  •  Standup meetings
  • Performance reviews

How are performance reviews related to employee retention?

A performance review is a formal evaluation in which management assesses a worker's productivity, identifies strengths and flaws, provides constructive criticism, listens to the employee, and sets objectives for future performance.

When conducted properly, performance evaluations may assist employees in recognizing their strengths, areas for growth, how their role fits into the overall aims of the firm, and expectations. When employees know what is expected of them, they are motivated to perform better at their jobs. This way, employee retention is more likely since morale is kept high.

Traditionally, performance reviews are conducted annually. However, these have been proven to be detrimental to employee engagement. Now, more firms are opting for contemporary and more frequent performance review timelines, like:

  •  New Hire Reviews or Probation Reviews
  •  Bi-annual or Quarterly Reviews
  •  Reviews based on competence and roles
  • Time-Based Evaluations

Here are some tips for giving (and receiving) adequate feedback through performance reviews.

  1. Appreciate good work. It keeps employees motivated.
  2.  Don’t just restrict feedback to one meeting. It should last throughout the entire review period.
  3.  Let them give suggestions too and listen to them. Keep that feedback loop open.
  4.  Suggest ways to improve. Try to do more than criticize. Send them course recommendations and resources.
  5.  Check up on your team after the review period. 

How does feedback contribute to employee engagement and employee retention?

43% of highly engaged employees receive feedback at least once a week. Engaged employees clearly understand their role within the company and are most likely to recommend the company to others. They are motivated and approach their work with passion. These kinds of employees do not leave easily.

Companies that leverage employee feedback to help retention rates enjoy reduced costs and increased corporate performance.

3 Mindful Ways To Give Effective Employee Feedback

There'll always be a time when you have to give feedback as a manager or employee. In these cases, you must apply the following strategies to ensure you give effective and actionable feedback.

1. Be frank but polite

Not every feedback is positive. Sometimes you're faced with the sticky challenge of giving constructive criticism. You can't be harsh, or it becomes a personal attack, and you can't sugarcoat it either, or else they won't take it seriously. In such a situation, you can use the sandwich method. ‘

Start with the good parts and slide the gentle criticism in between the praises. You can also decide to start with positive feedback and end with a negative one. Sort of like a 'good news first' approach. Whichever way you use, be sure to include actionable ways for them to improve and resources they can consult too. Always give negative feedback with care.

2. Be clear and detailed

When giving feedback, it is imperative that you give as much context as necessary. Pinpoint the issue and give your reasons it is an issue for you. For example, telling an employee that they’re bossy is vague and would be met with hostility. However, giving examples where they’ve undermined you, politely showing how that affects your credibility, and providing ways around the issue may give you the desired result.

3. Approach the process with an open mind

It’s not a competition or civil war. It is feedback that will improve the way you work with each other. It is a communal effort and should be approached with an open mind. This way, you’re more receptive to advice and able to give unbiased views.

3 Ways To Receive And Effectively Act On Feedback

Being on the receiving end of feedback is scary. You're not sure what you're getting and when you do get it, you might not know how to put the feedback into action.

Here are some ways to use received feedback effectively.

1. Be mindful of your actions

Feedback periods can be stressful. And it’s easy to become defensive when you’re the focus. However, this is not ideal. The key is to think before you speak on any feedback you receive. Be mindful of your tone and body language too.

2. Be open to feedback

Listen to other points of view and acknowledge that this is not an attack on you. Instead, this is an opportunity for you (and the company) to grow. Be receptive.

3. Thank them for their feedback

Always thank them for providing feedback. Whether or not it makes any sense. Especially if you are more experienced than the person. Thanking people for their feedback makes them feel heard and opens you to better feedback in the future. 

4. Follow up

When you receive feedback, don’t just stuff it in your desk, make a note of it and follow up at other meetings. Sometimes feedback may come as recommendations. In that case, you’ll need to work on these recommendations before following up, so you can have something to show.

What are some employee feedback examples for colleagues and managers?

Feedback is meant to be given with care and with the person's dignity in mind. It is nonviolent.

A popular way to promote nonviolent feedback is to follow Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication (NVC) technique. NVC may be used both in person and in writing to help people navigate challenging situations in professional (or personal) contexts.

It comprises four major concepts, which when applied to employee feedback, provide a perfect roadmap for giving and receiving feedback: 

  • Observations: Without hostility, share what you have observed about a person or situation. It may be good or bad. — ‘This is what “I” observe. You interrupted my presentation with the client yesterday.’
  • Feelings: Say how this observation makes you feel as politely as possible. —’This is how it makes “me” feel. It made me feel unsure of myself and frustrated.’ 
  •  Needs: These are the needs or desires connected to those feelings. Say how these feelings affect these needs. — ‘I need to feel like I own this task, and your interruption during the call makes me feel otherwise.’ 
  • Requests: Make fair requests that address these needs. They should be actionable. — Next time, can we align on the information we want to share with the client before joining the meeting?’ 

Following this process will help you give feedback in a concise and much more humane way. It also ensures you receive clear and actionable feedback.

Make Employee Feedback Easier With Assembly

The success of every organization, in the long run, depends on its ability to provide and receive feedback. Great companies are built on effective communication, and so should yours too.

Assembly provides all the tools and resources you need to keep the communication lines open and free of distrust, whether it's a one-on-one, team standup, employee recognition, icebreakers, or any other feedback mechanism. Book a demo to learn more.

Browse our Free Employee Recognition Guide

Get the foundational knowledge on creating an employee recognition program that boosts employee engagement and helps them feel valued.

Explore Guide

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Assembly SOC 2 compliant?

Yes, at Assembly, security is a top priority. Each quarter, we have ongoing security work that is everyone’s responsibility. While we maintain a strong security posture, it was important for us to prove to our customers that we do everything we claim to do. This led us to pursue a SOC 2 Type II report that would provide evidence of our compliance with industry gold-standard security practice.

What's the ROI for employee recognition?

There is study after study showing that employee recognition leads to increased engagement. This in return creates an environment where employees are happier and more motivated which increase productivity and reduces voluntary turnover significantly. In order to filled critical roles, companies tend to spend nearly twice the value of an annual salary. Assembly is an investment in your employees that supports your bottom line.

Does Assembly offer longer-term contracts?

Yes, we will offer contracts for companies with longer-term agreements to help larger customers have more certainty around future costs.

The minimum agreement term is a 12-month subscription.

Does Assembly offer onboarding support?

We do and for FREE! Any new customer needing further support to get started with Assembly to ensure you're set up for success can request custom onboarding support. Improving your employee experience is about much more than just using our amazing software; it’s about transforming your business to create a workplace that people love. That’s much easier to do with the personal support and advice from our passionate people experts.

Is there a free version of Assembly?

Yes. We offer a completely free plan for up to 50 team members. This plan is intended for teams or organizations that are looking to get started with an employee engagement tool. Keep in mind, this plan is limited in features.

All customers can open an Assembly account for free and get started without a credit card. Then you can change plans as necessary.

How much do rewards cost?

At the time of redemption (when your employees exchange their points for a paid reward) you'll pay face value. If a reward is a $10 Amazon gift card, your cost will be $10. All paid rewards are billed for on a monthly basis.

The good news is that you don't have to pay for rewards upfront because we only charge you when points are redeemed, not when they're earned.

Does Assembly offer discounts?

We offer discounts or educational or charitable organizations. In order to secure a discount, you'll first need to book a demo with a customer support specialist.

For all other organizations, we are willing to consider longer-term agreements in exchange for discounts. To set up annual plans or longer, you will need to book a demo with a customer support specialist.

How do I cancel my plan if needed?

If you're on a month to month plan, you can go here and cancel anytime. If you're having concerns or need help setting up your account for success, you can always book a demo with a customer support specialist.

If you're on a longer-term custom plan, you'll need to reach out to your customer support specialist to cancel your account or email us at support@joinassembly.com.

What customizations are available?

Great question! You can customize your core values to match your organization's to boost and track alignment. You can change your currency from the 🏆 emoji (our default) to any emoji of your choice. You can swap our logo for your own. You can also set up company culture rewards such as, "Lunch with the CEO," "Buy a book on us," and so much more!

Who can give or receive recognition?

While we recommend a peer to peer set up where anyone in your organization can give or receive recognition, you can set up Assembly however you want. If you need to limit the people who can give or receive recognition, that's perfectly fine and can be done from your Admin, here.

What integrations are available?

Assembly connects to the tools your employees use every day to offer an easy, seamless experience with minimal change management.  

Assembly has integrations with HCM/HRIS systems like ADP, Google, Office 365, and Slack. We also integrate with communication tools like Slack and Teams so you and your employees can access Assembly wherever they work now.

What's your average adoption rate?

That depends on the company's permissions set up. That said, over 90% of the employees on Assembly's platform are recognized on a monthly basis. That means nearly every employee across all of our customers are receiving regular recognition from their peers, managers, or leadership. We're extremely proud of this.

Must rewards be set up to use Assembly?

They are not required. You can use Assembly without having rewards set up. However, we don't recommend it if you intend to have a high adoption and usage rate. You can always keep the costs down by offering internal culture rewards that are fulfilled by you internally.

Are points required to use Assembly?

No, you can remove allowances from anyone or everyone. It's up to you but we do recommend using points whether they're worth a real dollar value or not. Companies that use points have a much higher engagement rate even if those points don't exchange for real dollars.

Could find the answer you are looking for?

Please schedule time with an expert and we will help you to get all your questions answered