Leadership Feedback Skills/ How Engaged Are You? [ PART 2 ]

In early 2005, a Gallup poll found that 20per cent of Australian workers are actively disengaged at work and this costs the economy an estimated $31.5 billion per year. Actively disengaged employees are less productive, less profitable, less loyal, less likely to provide excellent customer service and are often disruptive at work. The survey of 1,500 Australian workers, however, found that only 18 per cent are engaged at work and providing their employers with high levels of productivity, profitability and customer service.

Managers who focus on their employees’ strengths or positive characteristics have the most engaged teams, with 43 per cent being engaged and only 4 per cent actively disengaged.

Managers who focus on their employees’ weaknesses or negative characteristics in feedback have teams that are 33 per cent engaged and 24 per cent actively disengaged.

Absence of any feedback is produces abysmal results as managers who fall into this category have the least engaged workgroups with only 2 per cent engaged and 43 per cent actively disengaged.

So the key for creating and retaining motivated staff lies in the quality and frequency of feedback.

Organisations commonly use benchmarks to quantify results and sales performance. But how many actually consider using benchmarking to highlight behavioural traits? When coaching, I ask, on a regular basis, if my clients are experiencing or doing specific behaviours that help their interests ( vs ‘old’ less productive behaviours ) since the coaching sessions began. This is only ways to tell if my coaching intervention is having a positive effect. This is where so many performance appraisals and training programmes fail. They do NOT measure changes in behaviour that are desired.

Unless you have a way to measure/benchmark changes in behaviour leading to desired new behaviours, there is no real benefit accruing. One practical way to benchmark behaviours is to facilitate a meeting where a series of key behaviour pertaining to your specific work environment can be observed as ranging from ” abysmal” to ” fantastic”. By identifying these behaviours in eg customer service, quality of feedback , we can begin to to produce a co-created outcome with our peers and staff as to how we should behave to get the co-desired work outcomes.

By having a numeric scale, we can give feedback addressing if the present specific observed behaviours are adequately ( or not ) practised. Imagine such a system covering the giving and receiving of feedback skills. Typical skills needed for good feedback reception would include: listening, acknowledging, asking for details, offering scope for improvement that is mutually agreed and celebration. Typical behaviours that represent good feedback giving include observing specific behaviours instead of generalising, less judging, more observation, working towards a co-desired goal. There are more specific behaviours related to this skill not in the scope of this month’s newsletter. However, once you prioritise and scale these behaviours to your team’s needs, it creates a much safer and effective environment in which to work.

Past editions of LIFE WITHOUT LIMITS ( 2001 – 2005 ) can be found for FREE on http://www.everestmotivation.com/mustread.html – and include topics on The Genius Game, What to do with Anger, and Resilience Awareness. You will need to click the header ” year” to access the whole year’s worth of articles instead of clicking each article header.