If you’ve followed my blog posts you’ll notice my blog material often comes from something that has recently popped into my head. This is due to the fact that I’m a) habitually guilty of being a procrastinator as most sales people are and b) I work my best under tight deadlines. I was puttering about this weekend with some music in the background when the song “War” by Edwin Starr popped up. I was humming along when my blog idea popped into my head and that’s where I got the title from.
We’ve recently made a push in our division to determine what separates us from our competitors and we’ve spent quite a bit of time discussing our features, advantages, and benefits. One thing we universally agreed upon that separates us is we really push our clients and candidates to give feedback while we have folks out working on assignment. So there you go, there’s a quick snapshot of the absurd ways I go about coming up with material to write my blog. Now, let’s talk about three reasons feedback is so powerful and how we can use it to foster buy-in from your employees, snuff out problems before they mushroom into serious issues, and build camaraderie.
1) Who doesn’t like getting praise? Too often on our sales floor when we’re talking with our clients or candidates about how things are going, I’ll hear, “Well, no news is good news right?” While that may be true (and I’m as guilty of it as anyone), you may be missing opportunities to deliver positive feedback and praise. Giving positive feedback and praise can be difficult for some folks. That being said the awkwardness you may feel when delivering positive feedback will be far outshined by the feelings the recipient will get from a genuine compliment.
2) Nipping things in the bud. We’ve all seen the situation at work where a minor issue emerges (loud music in a cube, formatting errors, etc.) and instead of approaching the person and providing on-the-spot coaching, we ignore it. Then two months later the issue has turned into something out of our control, your team morale is in shambles, and everyone is wondering, “How the heck did we get here?” Giving constructive feedback can be difficult for folks, especially those with a direct style of communication, as they can be interpreted as being harsh, cold, or lacking empathy. When you’re tasked with giving constructive criticism, make sure to do it off the floor so the person receiving the feedback doesn’t feel like they’re being singled out. Also, make sure you know your audience. There’s a terrific book called, Feedback That Works by Sloan Weitzel that gives several examples and scenarios of how to package your feedback effectively.
3) Teamwork makes the dream work! When you empower your employees to provide feedback (both to you and their teammates) you also foster a workplace that should hopefully embrace a healthy marketplace of idea swapping that promotes critical thinking, open discussion, and honest feedback (both positive and negative). Ultimately, people want to feel like they’re being listened to and their ideas are being considered. I fully realize that sometimes you’re going to have team members who you’ll clash with. By fostering an open communication policy, you’ll promote an environment where people feel safe discussing things like adults without fear of retribution, which should hopefully lead to happier employees, which will lead to more engaged employees, which will ultimately lead to less turnover. Isn’t that what we all strive for?
As we continue rolling through 2017, I encourage you to use some of the above tools in order to foster a more transparent work environment. I know these are hardly earth shattering suggestions, but you’d be surprised at how quickly some of these things go by the wayside when we get busy and trapped in our own world. Just a reminder, people don’t leave jobs, they leave managers. With the marketplace remaining tight and not looking to change anytime soon, do you really want to risk losing an employee because you couldn’t find 30 seconds to tell Katie in marketing that you loved her presentation? Now, THAT is a conversation you don’t want to have.
Chris has been a member of the Celebrity Staff team since September 2012. He specializes in providing high customer touch and customizing labor solutions for his clients. Prior to his time at Celebrity, Chris was a partner in a startup energy drink distribution company that has attained a strong foothold in the Nebraska and Iowa region. He also has six years of experience as a successful mortgage broker where he developed and cultivated a multi-million dollar relationship with one of the largest home builders in the Omaha metro area. Chris specializes in providing excellent administrative, legal, and management candidates to his clients in the Des Moines, IA marketplace. When he isn’t working he enjoys golf, traveling, and spending obscene amounts of money on shoes.