One of my clients has worked for the same family-owned business for over 25 years. Although she’s not one of the family members, she’s a hardworking executive, truly dedicated to the company’s success.
I was shocked to learn recently that she’s never had a review in all that time.
Another one of my clients works in a hospital system. He has two regularly scheduled meetings per month with his boss. One is an open meeting on whatever topics he wants to discuss. The other is more formal review of his 90 day plan and how it’s going.
No surprise–my hospital guy is a lot more satisfied with his work.
We humans need feedback. We need opportunities to discuss with our leaders how our work is going, how our goals are tracking and any problems we are having.
So if you own a business, make sure you are meeting regularly with your employees. You want to meet frequently as a team, and at least monthly one-on-one.
If you are an employee yourself and your boss does not meet with you regularly, take the initiative and ask for what you want. Years ago I worked in a small four person non-profit. I asked my boss if we could have weekly staff meetings. I felt it would be helpful to us if we checked in a little more formally, not just popping into each other’s offices on an as-needed basis. She agreed. Even in a tiny organization like that, we found those meetings very valuable.
If this sounds like a lot of meetings to you, I encourage you to try it for two months. I bet you will find that these meetings end up saving time in the long run and will make your business more money. Why? Because people, if left on their own, often get diverted down wrong paths. And because if people feel appreciated and cared about, research shows that they are more creative and productive.
Positive feedback–what someone did specifically and how it will help the business (or mate or children, in your personal life) is vitally important. Many surveys over the years have consistently shown that one of the top three things people want in their job is appreciation for work done. (While good pay is one of the top 10, it’s not in the top 3!)
Of course “constructive criticism” is important too. It’s crucial that we develop the ability to discuss with each other problems we are having with the other, and the best way to do that is early (before little things get big) and often.
I recently implemented a process with my assistant that’s working very well. Each day she emails me the answers to the following questions:
1. What you did and the results you got
2. Problems or challenges
3. Questions you have for me
It takes less than 5 minutes and keeps me up to date on both what she’s doing, as well as what problems and questions she has. This way, little issues get handled early, and frustration won’t build.
So don’t forget to give and receive frequent feedback, especially positive feedback. I like to be appreciated, too, and I truly believe you will thank me for the results you get!