Why a great feedback culture attracts and retains the best talent

Find out how to have better feedback conversations

If you want to attract and retain top talent you need a strong employee value proposition – in other words, an appeal that sets your company aside from the competition. Giving recognition where it's due and providing constructive feedback for your employees' professional development is a key part of this. 


These pro’s ain’t loyal

Now more than ever, employees are less loyal to companies and are likely to move on if they feel they are not progressing or developing.


Millennials are typically not expected to stick with a job for more than three years – Deloitte predict that they’ll make up 75% of the global workforce by 2025 and according to their 2014 study, two-thirds of millennials believe that managers are responsible for providing them with further development opportunities.


Recognition and feedback leads to personal development and subsequently future career progression.


People value recognition more than a bonus

Quality feedback goes a long way to making your employees feel appreciated, regardless of age. A 2015 report by Gallup Inc. found 88% of employees value recognition from their manager over monetary rewards. This reaffirms the importance of a good feedback culture in an age with less than lavish budgets.


happy lady in office


Embrace a ‘Growth Mindset’ 

Feedback helps people to grow, providing that it’s seen as an opportunity to evaluate and hone skills. When we view our skills and abilities as learned traits that need to be exercised in order to develop and improve, we take a more open, future-focused approach to receiving feedback.


Irregular or ineffective feedback sessions often stem from managers being scared to give honest, constructive feedback, fearing that it will be taken the wrong way. If employees have a fixed mindset towards feedback, they see their intelligence and personality as static features and are much more likely to respond emotionally or defensively, making the conversations awkward or unpleasant for both parties.

Start with role modelling and reciprocal feedback

If you’re at a loss for where to get started, start with you. Role modelling the behaviours you’d like to see from others is essential in order to prevent a ‘say do’ gap. This means as well as providing open, honest and constructive feedback to others, you should ask for feedback yourself and willingly take this on board.


Actively encouraging peer to peer feedback is also a great technique to get teams communicating frequently and effectively. This can promote the sharing of skills and knowledge, nip issues in the bud and help teams to identify their strengths and weaknesses.


An Insights Discovery team effectiveness session is a great way to kick-start the conversation in a safe, open environment.


Consider what you say and how you say it

Your tone of voice, body language and delivery really impact how feedback is received and so having conversations face to face is important.

Over half of the message that we send to others is non-verbal, and tone of voice is responsible for about 35-40 percent of the message we are sending. We not only need to consider what we say but also how we say it.



Our top tips to great feedback conversations


Positive feedback:

  • Be timely
  • Be specific
  • Set both achievable and stretch goals
  • Consider effort and attitude as well as results
  • Provide feedback often

 Celebrating great work is extremely motivating for employees, providing that it’s done in a timely and detailed manner. People don’t just want to know that they’ve done well, they want to know why they’ve done well. Specific feedback helps people to identify which behaviours to replicate in the future, for example:

“That project was well organised” – is too general


“The way you created a detailed time scale for this project and collaborated frequently and enthusiastically with all parties to ensure they met their deadlines made this project a real success” – is much more specific


Recognition conversations build employee confidence and make people feel valued. They can also be a great way to celebrate progress in an area where someone previously struggled.


Constructive feedback:

  • Have one on one conversations
  • Be clear and constructive
  • Provide examples
  • Use the growth mindset approach
  • Discuss a solution together

Constructive feedback conversations should be timely, have a purpose and highlight areas for growth. They should be rooted firmly within the growth-mindset approach and clearly show employees where they currently are and where you want them to be. In order not to overwhelm or totally demotivate staff, conversations should focus on one or two actionable goals. Employees should have an opportunity to respond to your feedback and together you should establish how they can improve to meet the goal in question.


We hope this post gives you some handy pointers about how best to approach feedback conversations and why they’re important to retaining great talent.


Contact us today to chat about how we can help you.