7 Steps to Reducing Turnover and Increasing Engagement, Productivity, and Profits
All your employees want to be told what kind of job they’re doing. But your newest hires crave feedback even more.
New employees want positive feedback, constructive feedback, and even negative feedback if it is delivered right and helps them do their jobs better.
Here you will find seven steps to giving feedback to new employees.
1. Set the Tone on Day 1 – Communicate Values and Goals
As part of your hiring and first-day onboarding process, introduce your new employee to your feedback system and the values and goals that drive it. Communicating these values and goals is critical to the success of your employee feedback program.
Why do you give feedback in the manner and the frequency that you give it?
What are you trying to accomplish, and why is that important?
What do you want your employee to get out of it?
How does it help the company and the rest of your team?
Inform your new hire on day one how often they can expect feedback, and how they can participate so they get the most out of it.
2. Create an Evaluation Chart that Incorporates the Job Description
Your employees applied for their jobs based on job descriptions you wrote. That description should therefore reflect what they will actually do on the job. So it makes perfect sense to incorporate this into your employee evaluation plan.
Your job description should list out skills, competencies, and responsibilities. 5 keys to writing job descriptions that attract top talent.
Your evaluation process can incorporate all three of these categories. Are they developing or enhancing their skills? Are they learning new competencies? Do you have a method for tracking their performance toward their goals and responsibilities?
Introduce your evaluation chart to new employees as part of the onboarding process.
3. Define Success – for the Company and for the Employee
What does success look like for the company, and what role does the employee play in that?
You should have company goals and objectives, and you should have employee goals and objectives. The employee should know what they are trying to accomplish, and they should know how that fits into the big picture and how it relates to other team members.
Show them how their work makes a difference if and when they achieve their goals.
This too should be included on your evaluation chart.
4. Fill out the Evaluation Chart on Pre-Set Dates
In general, we recommend re-visiting this evaluation five times during the first year, after one month, three months, six months, nine months, and one year.
But you may need to customize this plan a bit more based on your company and based on each position.
For instance, task-based or project-based jobs should receive feedback when the project is finished, in addition to specific milestones. That approach makes more sense than stopping someone in the middle of their work. For instance, a graphic designer working on a new website should be evaluated once the site is finished, no matter when in their first year this happens.
But process-heavy jobs and customer service jobs that have more routine can be evaluated at specific points in time.
5. Present Feedback Formally and Informally – Continuously
The pre-planned evaluations should be formal in nature. It should not be a casual conversation in the hallway. How, and where, you present this feedback speaks to its importance for the employee.
It should matter.
However, you should also be giving feedback informally, much more frequently than the pre-planned meetings. For this, focus especially on positive feedback and progress updates.
One study found that 65% of employees said they received zero recognition for their work in the past year. Zero.
New hires especially need to know what kind of a job they’re doing and what their leaders think of their performance. Not feeling appreciated, or feeling like their work isn’t noticed, is a major contributor to turnover.
Another study found that the highest performing teams received six times as much positive feedback compared to negative. Negative is critically important, but positive feedback should outweigh it. See How to Give Negative Feedback Effectively
The study listed four benefits from positive employee feedback:
- Higher engagement compared to employees whose managers focused on weaknesses
- Improved productivity
- Lower turnover
- More profitability for the company
If you want your best new employees to stay longer, stay engaged, be more productive, and generate more profits for you, make a commitment to give frequent, informal, unexpected positive feedback.
6. Let Them Give You Feedback Too
New employees have a unique perspective. They are not ingrained into your culture yet. For this reason, they have a greater chance of spotting missed opportunities and flaws that could be handled better.
So ask them.
And especially if they have experience working at other companies, they may know of better, more efficient ways of doing things.
You can also use this approach to find out how well your onboarding and orientation processes are working. Show your new employee you value their input by asking questions such as:
- Do you know who to contact for issues related to benefits, payroll, and expense reimbursement?
- Were you introduced to managers from every department?
- Do you feel well prepared to succeed in your job after your first month?
- Do you have enough, too little, or too much time to accomplish your work?
- How does your experience so far compare to how the company and job were presented during the application and interview process?
- What would help you do your job better?
7. Utilize Additional Resources
If you need more examples and systems to help build an employee feedback program, here are a couple resources.
Individual Evaluation Meetings
Try using the GOOD template for one-on-one evaluation meetings. This approach focuses on Goals, Obstacles, Opportunities, and Decisions.
Online Feedback System
With an online employee feedback system, you can track goals, record feedback, and give continuous notes to all your employees. For larger companies, this may be a terrific option. However, just be sure not to retreat to the comfort of giving feedback from your office.
Delivering feedback in person is the best approach, especially for new employees. But an online system like this can support your in-person feedback process.