Many companies have yearly, quarterly, or even monthly review processes in place, but is that enough anymore? The current trend in the business world is feedback for employees on a weekly, daily, or immediate time-frame instead of monthly, quarterly, or yearly. But why is this trend becoming popular? Why is immediate feedback replacing the classic quarterly review? Here are the top 7 reasons your managers need to give your employees immediate feedback.
1. Immediate Feedback Enables Advancement
The most important reason to give employees immediate feedback is that it enables them to improve their performance. When you wait for a monthly, quarterly, or longer review to meet with your employee and evaluate the positive and negative aspects of their performance, you allow both to go unchecked until that point. When you communicate often with your employees you can give them a better idea of what is working and what isn’t as it is happening. That way they can modify their behavior right away. Their performance can adapt more quickly to your evaluation if it is done soon and effective. This will have long term positive results for you and your employee both.
2. Immediate Feedback Improves the Working Relationship
Employees want to know that their work matters and that they are valued by their organization. When you are communicating with them frequently on their successes and mistakes, they will feel like you are invested in their performance. When you make sure to keep your employee appraised on the status of their work, they will feel more appreciated. By giving your feedback on a more immediate timeline, you will open more frequent communication. Your employees may even feel that they can communicate with you about their concerns and the things they are pleased with, allowing you more insight as a leader. Forge closer relationships with your employees by keeping them in the loop about their performance on a more regular and frequent basis.
3. Immediate Feedback Rewards Progress
Immediate feedback is a way to encourage and inspire your employees by rewarding their successes and progress. When you wait until a quarterly or yearly review to tell your employees what they are doing well, they may not feel like their actions are truly appreciated. Just by meeting with your employees on a frequent basis and telling them when they are improving, they will feel more appreciated and as though you are invested in their progress. Employees need to feel appreciated and acknowledged. This kind of feedback can give them that feeling and be a more powerful motivator than other performance incentives.
Immediate feedback makes employees feel appreciated and recognized, which is a more powerful motivator than other performance incentives.
4. Immediate Feedback Fixes Problems
Managers may feel intimidated by the idea of giving frequent negative feedback to their employees. Humans hate conflict and want to avoid it at all costs. But giving employees negative feedback when you are checking in with them regularly isn’t a bad thing at all. When you wait until a monthly review to tell an employee that they were making a mistake, the employee may feel uncomfortable because they have been doing something wrong for so long. When you are meeting with an employee regularly and address a problem, it will feel more like you are trying to help them improve rather than reprimanding them for failing because they can still change things. More immediate feedback, even if it is negative, allows problems to be solved faster and more efficiently than less frequent reviews.
5. Immediate Feedback Prevents a Time-Created Vacuum
When you have a quarterly or yearly review with an employee, you may need to address a negative situation that happened weeks or even months beforehand. This will likely create tension and maybe even conflict with an employee. When you wait to address a problem, things can get worse in the interim. The longer you wait, the more likely it is that your employee will have created their own story of what happened, intentionally or not. Each person has a different perspective, but time can also change an individual’s perspective. It will be harder to move forward from difficult situations when time has passed. If you are meeting with your employee regularly for reviews instead, you can address and overcome any challenges quickly before things get worse or perspectives change.
6. Immediate Feedback Keeps the Review Fresh
Giving immediate feedback keeps the review fresh and relevant. Monthly and quarterly reviews can feel stale and both parties can feel as though they aren’t getting much from the experience. Yearly reviews tend to be full of generalizations or reference events that have long since passed. When you give employees feedback as it is necessary or frequently, you can address successes and mistakes as they arise. You and your employee can have an open communication and move forward on the same page from any problems as they arise. Keep your employees in the loop and they will continue to improve and progress as you need them to.
7. Immediate Feedback Stops Long-Term Problems
If you want a quarterly or yearly review to affect change among your employees, you may be disappointed. It is harder for people to change once they have grown used to doing things a certain way. Adapting to new situations can be difficult and when you tell someone something isn’t working after months have passed, they may have a harder time changing how they do things. However, when you are frequently checking in with employees, you can discuss any changes with them as they arise and nip any long-term problems in the bud. When you are fixing mistakes as they arise, there is no way for them to continue over time or get worse. Addressing issues quickly through immediate feedback will allow you and your employee both to move forward and be more successful over time.
Many managers and companies are comfortable with their monthly, quarterly, and yearly review processes. It can seem daunting for managers to meet with their employees regularly and frequently deal with conflicts that arise. It can seem easier to put the feedback off. However, if you want your employee to be happier and more successful in the long term, you need to be giving them relevant feedback regularly. Immediate reviews will help employees improve and stay on top of their mistakes. Your employees will thank you for keeping them in the loop and your organization will be more successful in the future.