The other day on the Gallup Management Journal was a short article entitled "What Your Employees Need to Know." This particular posting was on their first worldwide Q12 assessment. At the right is a graphic of the results from their survey. The top two items - I know what is expected and I have the stuff I need to do the work.
That makes sense. Good companies rarely leave employees in the dark on their task/goals and rarely leave them with an oil lamp, a sheepskin and a piece of charcoal. Big companies usually make sure you got the electronic goods needed to complete the job.
But - as usual as well - the lowest ranked items on the survey were: Recognition and discussions on progress.
Gallup explains this as either managers assume they are giving feedback, or that managers assume that employees know that no feedback means they are doing a good job. I don't agree.
I take a different view (surprise?)
I think Managers are giving feedback. I think the Managers are right. And I think the survey and the analysis is wrong.
Bear with me...
Feedback is a much different term than "praise" or even "progress." Meaning... Managers are giving feedback but what they aren't doing is praising and providing information on progress.
And until we educate Managers on the difference these survey results won't change.
Here's some examples:
"Hey Jim - that work you did on the Simpson contract yesterday was really great. I really liked how you connected third-party performance to the revenue from the client. That really protected us on the downside and allowed the client to get something on the upside. That is a perfect example of what we mean by win-win with our clients."
"Hey Jim. In looking at the Simpson contract you completed last week I noticed you were using that new calculation method we discussed at your performance review. I think it made a big diference in the value our firm brought to the table. That's a big step in your learning. You've come a long way since last year - hitting 9 out of 10 objectives."
"Hey Jim. Great job on the Simpleton or Simpson or whatever contract last month."
See the differences?
It's no wonder companies have a difficult time moving the needle on engagement. The survey ask one thing, the managers interpret the results another way, and the analysts don't know the difference.
Any feedback for this post?