In Part 1 of this series, I postulated a formula for some of the “known” elements. The formula suggests that each of this factors can contribute to the success – or failure – of a retention strategy. Successful Retention = f (Objective Expectations, Compensation, Training, Recognition, Feedback, Organizational Culture, and…) The objective expectations component was discussed in Part 1. Part 2 discussed the challenging aspects of compensation. Part 3 discussed training; Part 4 discussed recognition. In my experiences training 1000’s of managers for a variety of organizations, I’ve found “feedback” one of the most fascinating, particularly because there are powerful lessons from many different sources.
We Know A Lot About FeedbackFor clarity, I want to focus specifically on direct feedback on performance, positive or negative, differentiating this from “recognition” where positive and/or organizational feedback is often included. While this is most frequently focused on feedback provided by someone supervising an employee, it often comes from other sources. The power of feedback is well documented. From “First, Break All the Rules” (Buckingham/Coffman) we learned about the “Gallup 12” and we know the “In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work” (Emphasis added). The power of this research, demonstrated by this factors fourth place position as a critical follow up to the key first question: “Do I know what is expected of me?” In “12: The Elements of Great Managing,” Rodd Wagner provides some of the key details on Gallup’s research on feedback:
- Less than one in three employees strongly agree with the statement that they regularly receive positive feedback.
- Positive feedback is responsible for 10 to 20 percent differences in productivity and revenue.
- Positive words activate regions of the brain related to rewards – an increase in “dopamine,” the brain sending a signal for enjoyment and satisfaction.
- High performing teams received 5.6 times more positive than negative comments.
- Low performing teams received 2.8 times more negative than positive comments.