Here’s Why Many Employees Avoid Giving and Receiving Feedback

business meeting

Some experts say that feedback promotes positive growth and change in an organization. But why are many employees don’t seek it? Others avoid it at all costs.

Employees are the lifeblood of any business. For them to be productive and efficient, you need to engage them. They are not when they seem to run away from evaluations or assessments.

That’s why it’s best to understand the reasons for this behavior. These can include:

1. Feedback Lacks Objectives and Action

Surveys and assessments are useless unless you do them with an ultimate goal in mind. With employee feedback, these objectives can be:

  • Generate data for future reference
  • Determine employee perception of their jobs and organization
  • Measure the relationship between the managers or supervisors and their team members
  • Identify steps to improve team or individual performance and work relationships

The problem comes in when workers don’t understand the reason for the feedback. It usually leads to misplaced expectations or ideas. For example, they might think the survey was to improve the workplace setting when all you want is to gather data first.

Compounding this issue is the lack of action based on the recommendations or results of these surveys and feedback. Further, even they can see changes, these might not be consistent.

How can you avoid these? Besides being specific with your objectives and informing your staff about them, you can also invest in an employee experience software. This platform can help in measuring your consistency in applying changes or knowing whether employees are still receptive to feedback.

2. The Employees Are Strongly Disengaged

man screaming on the phone at workEngagement in the workplace means employees are contributing actively to the growth of the organization. They don’t just report to work – they are productive and efficient. The company experiences harmony since everyone is happy with their jobs and strive hard to get along with everyone.

When employees are disengaged, the opposite happens. This can hurt the business. A disengaged individual could already cost you over $15,000 annually. A Gallup survey also revealed this person is 37% likely to be absent and 18% less productive.

Worse, some employees are actively disengaged. These consciously display their ill feelings toward the organization, their jobs, or their co-workers. They are not only unproductive but also toxic and unfortunately contagious.

In feedback, disengaged employees might not be receptive to participate. Actively disengaged ones might discourage others to complete feedback or dialogue with managers and supervisors.

3. They Have a Negative Perception of Feedback

Most employees join organizations knowing they will undergo reviews and other forms of feedback regularly. However, it doesn’t mean they love it. Much of it comes from their negative perception of the process:

  • Performance reviews are excuses to heavily criticize employees’ work.
  • Employees feel managers will use these reviews to derail them in their career path or exact revenge.
  • They feel they cannot give negative feedback to their bosses if they want to keep their jobs.
  • HR cannot guarantee confidentiality.
  • Negative feedback might mean the end of their jobs.

Feedback is a potent tool for growth, innovation, and employee retention. However, for it to work, everyone must first hurdle the barriers.

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