How to Keep Your Best Employees: The Art of Effective Feedback | Shyft Careers

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How to Keep Your Best Employees: The Art of Effective Feedback

Your top talent’s phone rings.

They hear, “Hi, I’m Joel from Shyft Careers.”

Do they start a serious conversation with the recruiter—or say, “No, thanks”?

You may have more influence over how that employee reacts than you think.

As recruiters who constantly interact with top-shelf candidates, we’ve developed a good sense of what motivates people to start a conversation about new job opportunities.

One of those factors is feedback from their current employer. According to statistics compiled by OfficeVibe:

  • Thirty-nine percent of employees say they don’t feel appreciated at work.


  • Companies that implement regular employee feedback report 15 percent lower turnover rates.


  • Forty percent of employees are actively disengaged when they receive little or no feedback.

If you want to reduce the risk your top-producing team members will leave for other opportunities, then you can’t afford to give ineffective feedback or, worse, ignore an employee entirely. Use these tips to improve the feedback loop and keep your best employees where they belong—on your team.

Make it timely.

Effective feedback addresses problems and identifies strengths when they occur, rather than during some distant annual performance review. The sooner you offer constructive feedback, the better an employee can make adjustments or continue engaging in a positive behavior.  Wait too long and both you and the employee can lose the details to the fog of time, making it harder to drive change.

Make it specific.

General feedback doesn’t give an employee the information they need to act, whether that involves making change or continuing on the same path. A statement like, “That was a really good newsletter you wrote for our client” sounds sort of warm and fuzzy, but it doesn’t convey what you’d like to see more of. Instead, provide specific feedback that highlights the good and emphasizes its impact. “The subject line was really catchy, and the client is thrilled because the open rate increased 15 percent over last month.”

Make a culture of feedback.

Team-building feedback isn’t just about letting an employee know the good, the bad, and the ugly about their performance. It’s also about receiving feedback, or, as your favorite kindergarten teacher might have said, putting on your listening ears.

Whether you collect employee surveys or a team member talks with you privately about a concern, it’s essential to let them know you heard their feedback. In some cases, it might be appropriate to ask for their advice on a solution. For example, if an employee says a specific process is inefficient, invite them to provide an alternate solution.

When employees understand that their feedback is valued, it fosters a sense of job engagement as well as ownership in the company.

Empower yourself and your team by checking out Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity by Kim Scott. The Shyft Careers team loves this book, which outlines how to create a culture of feedback and help your team achieve its full potential.

Make a Shyft in your hiring strategy.

Creating a culture to keep your best employees is one building block of a strong, profit-growing team. Adding top talent is another. When it’s time to hire in digital marketing, creative, sales, or IT, our tech-savvy recruitment agency will streamline the process and match you with exceptional talent.

Start a conversation.

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