The Silence of the Managers: How the Lack of Feedback Drives Turnover and Disengagement

Only one thing truly disturbs the minds of employees, and that is when their managers are silent – meaning they offer no feedback or guidance. Just thinking about it can make your skin crawl!

Feedback is so important to employees that, when they don't get it, they are likely to search for employment elsewhere. Feedback – or its lack – can also impact employee performance. According to HubSpot, 69 percent of employees say they would work harder if they felt their efforts were being recognized. When managers offer little or no feedback, it can lead to higher turnover rates and major monetary losses for your company. Whether you're correcting a mistake or giving credit where it's due, feedback is a necessity. Silence is truly deadly.

Feedback allows for correction and communication. It also creates a golden opportunity to develop your employees and help them succeed. Feedback engages employees. Disengaged employees, on the other hand, are less productive, and we all know what happens when productivity falls.

The good news is you can change this situation for the better! Stop the silence and create the best feedback culture for your company:

It All Starts With You, Clarice

If you want feedback to be a systemic behavior, you have to start at the top. Being a role model for the cause is a great first step. Once others see you doing it, they will follow your lead.

Be sure to create an environment where employees feel comfortable coming to you for anything. You need to radiate trust and understanding so they are compelled to seek you out and interested in what you have to say about their work. Only about 30 percent of actively disengaged employees are actually thriving. Everyone is different, but it is your job to get the other 70 percent engaged and producing their very best work.

Have an Old Friend Over (for Dinner)

Assuming that most employees are friends with one another to some extent, we want to shine the light on peer-to-peer interactions as well. It isn't only managers who can give feedback. Feedback from peers is also valuable.

Encouraging the sharing of feedback among your employees will help spread new ideas and improve communication. Forty-one percent of companies that use peer-to-peer recognition have seen positive increases in customer satisfaction. If you want to improve your employees' communication and leadership skills, peer-to-peer feedback just might be the answer.

"You Call This Easy, Sir?"

Not all employees will be cooperative when it comes to receiving feedback – and some may not even see feedback as necessary or important. This is when you need to smile and say, "Challenge accepted!" No one said it was going to be easy, but it is your responsibility to coach these individuals so they can see the benefits of feedback and/or rid themselves of defensive tendencies.

In these situations, one-on-one meetings may be best. That way, you can both lay it all out on the table and find the best way to proceed. Provide the opportunity for employees to talk openly with you, and collaborate with them to find the best solutions to the problem.

Giving feedback is probably one of the most important things a manager can do. According to the HubSpot article cited above, 58 percent of employees say giving recognition is a way for leaders to improve engagement. It's very likely that your employees share the sentiment. Why not give them what they want? Start your feedback journey today!

A version of this article originally appeared on the iRevü blog.

Michael Heller is the CEO and founder of iRevü.