Explore employee motivation and retention strategies. Know why it’s important to focus on feedback loops and not just perks. Any positive work environment will strengthen an employee’s motivation and retention in an organization. Giving perks to employees without meaningful feedback loops or challenging work will not keep an employee.

Employee Motivation and Retention_Focus on Feedback Loops, Not Perks

Rae Steinbach

By Rae Steinbach (Contributor)

Rae is a graduate of Tufts University with a combined International Relations and Chinese degree. After spending time living and working abroad in China, she returned to NYC to pursue her career and continue curating quality content. Rae is passionate about travel, food, and writing, of course.Twitter: @araesininthesun

Employee motivation and retention can help an employer to improve employee and organizational performance. Employee motivation and retention will be better practiced by motivating an employee through feedback loops and not perks as discussed in this article.

Focusing on employee engagement and retention via feedback loops and not perks will help your organization. Keeping your employees happy is essential to the success of your business. Evidence proves that happier employees translate to higher stock prices and stronger overall business performance.

That said, knowing you need to keep your employees satisfied isn’t the same thing as knowing how to accomplish such goals. Do you offer free lunches? Holiday bonuses? Trips? There’s nothing inherently wrong with those types of employee appreciation methods, but they don’t have as substantial an impact on employee happiness as you might think.

For the best results, it’s necessary to focus on communication and implementing employee feedback strategies.

Why Perks Are No Longer Effective for employee motivation and retention

When employees are truly engaged and pleased with their roles, they want to genuinely contribute to the company. To some, a perk is something you offer to distract workers from their lack of fulfillment. It doesn’t promote lasting contentment or enthusiasm.

For a long time, businesses generally considered the ideal employee to be someone who was dedicated to their organization to an extreme level. They’d do anything and everything asked of them. Employees were resources who needed to be mined for all that they were worth.

Experts are now challenging that idea. They’ve found that companies are more successful when they make a point of taking care of their employees’ overall well-being. When workers feel physically,  mentally, and in some cases spiritually sound, they’re less likely to burn out and more likely to stay dedicated to their roles.

The Role of Feedback Loops

It’s becoming clearer that the best way to keep workers engaged is to make sure they’re constantly getting feedback. By prioritizing regular communication, organizations can boost staff retention and productivity.

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Occasional performance reviews do not qualify as effective feedback loops. As some experts have pointed out, performance review sessions often feel artificial and intimidating. A couple of times a year, a supervisor and an employee conduct an awkward meeting involving time-wasting paperwork and a lack of genuine communication.

A truly engaged worker actually wants to contribute to the organization. They want to know their work is valued. Meeting with a supervisor every few months to discuss their performance isn’t enough for such top performers.

Effective Feedback Strategies

For lasting employee motivation and retention, as a team leader, you need to facilitate methods of communication in which everyone’s voice has value. A feedback loop also involves listening to what employees have to say in return regarding leadership qualities and performance.

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The following are some ways you can achieve these goals:

  • Gather Information

Give your employees the opportunity to address any shortcomings in the company. Acknowledge that no business is perfect, and there’s always room for improvement. You may have to ask questions to get your employees to speak up. Most workers aren’t eager to complain, for fear of potential consequences. Work hard at finding out what you can do to make them more fulfilled.

Once you have some information provided by employees, analyze it. Listening to your employees is just one step – now you need to determine if their complaints are valid and if there is anything you can do to address their concerns.

  • Plan

Establish an action plan. Let your employees know that you intend to correct the problems they’ve identified. You might even collaborate with them on this process. Give your workers the chance to offer their own solutions. Make it clear that you’re going to take action, otherwise, they’ll be reluctant to offer advice in the future.

  • Organize

A feedback loop is most effective when it’s a regular part of your overall processes. Don’t surprise your workers with random interviews about their problems with the company. Create some sort of schedule so they’ll know that communication is an inherent component of your values and not just another perk that you offer on occasion. Over time, this will lead to greater trust between you and your employees.

How You Benefit

Again, no organization is perfect. Letting your employees voice their concerns shouldn’t be a token gesture. Instead, it should be an opportunity to address minor issues before they cause major problems.

Feedback loops boost your company’s agility. They give you the chance to make improvements swiftly and effectively. They also play a big part in employee motivation and retention.

Employee Motivation and Retention Strategies_Focus on Feedback Loops and not Perks

They also provide employees with a valuable form of equity. When a top performer joins an organization, it’s not uncommon to offer stock options. The financial incentive is meant to keep them emotionally invested in the company’s success.

However, not all employees are eligible for that kind of equity, and not all employees respond solely to financial rewards. Instead, they need to know their desire to build the organization is appreciated.

Feedback loops boost employee happiness by letting them know that they truly are valuable. Instead of feeling like cogs in a machine, they’ll feel like genuine participants in the company’s success.

Now that you know what contributes to employee motivation and retention, what else can you add? Leave your comments below.

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