This blog is about how feedback, supported by a system, can help boost engagement.
Employee Engagement Systems
Employee engagement systems are on a rise. But still all relevant studies show low levels of overall employee engagement. It seems like people just don’t get it or are immune to all sorts of motivational triggers.
The truth is employee motivation is hard because it’s in essence strongly people related. Technological solutions can be really helpful for some aspects of motivation but the “human” part of motivation needs to be taken care of individually. All too often however, employee engagement systems are introduced with the belief that the problem is then solved automatically. The effect is tragic. Employee engagement doesn’t increase. Frustrated by the mess, organizations turn away from the system they just introduced and continue to accept low levels of engagement.
However, if managers and supervisors follow the following 4 key rules, a feedback tool can in fact support the organization’s efforts to increase motivation and engagement.
It is rooted in our very human existence that feedback works best if it is very specific and to the point. It shows the receiving person that the feedback giver really does care. To maximize the effect on motivation, managers need to make sure to give very detailed, specific feedback.
Lead and encourage
Especially in bigger organizations, feedback loops can be contagious – in a positive way. If supervisors or managers lead by giving the good example and give feedback often and encourage a feedback culture, others in the team will follow – a positive feedback culture is born.
Be honestly thankful
People are sensitive and feel when a “thank you” or a “well done” is meant without meaning. This has even a negative effect on motivation. Instead, managers should be consistent to use such words wisely and in situations where they truthfully mean it. An honest “thank you” will have a very positive effect.
If something great happened, managers should recognize it every time. Balancing out feedback and measuring the value of one achievement towards another is something managers naturally try to do to avoid the inflationary effect of recognition. But this is not true for honest, specific, positive feedback. As long as managers follow the three points mentioned above, there won’t be an inflationary effect on the motivation for the feedback they give.
Feedback and Performance
If leaders incorporate these 4 points and really live by them (although it is sometimes very hard), they can already increase motivation by a lot. This happens even without technological support in form of e.g. a social recognition platform. And if they do have a solution in place, they will see a very positive boost in motivation among your employees after a short while. A social recognition platform is then able to really transport their motivating feedback in the fastest time to the recipients. These will surprise their managers with how much they want to contribute to the organization.