In an ideal world we as managers believe we know quite clearly what our employees do and think, what their plans, progress and problems are. Often that assumption is given without much real communication or feedback, be it online or offline. At the same time everyone agrees regular two-way feedback and communication between manager and their team is crucial to success of any company.
Should managers be more active in collecting data from their employees? Should they give more feedback on that information?
At Weekdone we set the task to understand what employees really think of their managers. Could everything be rosy and managers and employees are on same wavelengths like psychics?
We went out to the streets and asked the people – a whole 1000 of them – to find out.
Here are the most common answers:
Surprise! The biggest problem employees face is managers not clearly knowing what their people have achieved, what their current goals or challenges are. There is also not enough feedback from managers. As a result managers overload people with impossible number of tasks.
No wonder, since many managers do not have regular systematic feedback process or tools in place to:
- Collect data and have a quick overview of each person's upcoming and resolved tasks.
- Prioritize and monitor employee's tasks.
- Give regular actionable feedback to their people.
That matches the recent American Psychological Association's survey which said less than half of employers regularly seek information from their employees.
Two-way communication between managers and their team
How can we then be better managers communications wise and make our teams happier? It's pretty easy.
Start by making sure you have a regular (weekly or monthly) feedback mechanism to get information from your team, on what they are working on, what are they future plans, accomplished tasks and if there are any challenges. Focus on key items, there is no way you could read through hundreds of items from each employee per week. 5 to 7 key accomplishments and similar amount of plans per week per employee is ideal.
Second, make sure you give feedback to the people on the data you provide. The whole process works only if it's two-way. Do that regularly, preferably weekly. That's one of the key things with employee engagement that's missing: manager's regular feedback to the employees. That is what your people want.
To get started with improvements in your team quickly, have a look at special team feedback and employee reporting tools like Weekdone. It can help you automate the process of 2-way feedback, save managerial time and be much more systematic.
So start today with making your employees happier and teams stronger. Find out what they're doing and give them more feedback, even if you do that already. Your team will appreciate it.