Oftentimes, I meet with a perspective client asking me if we can help them with a confrontation problem. When this happens my first question to them is what’s your feedback culture like here?

And inevitably, I get a response that sounds something like this: “Oh, it’s very good, twice a year Performance Management time, all of our leaders give feedback to their people.” Really? They’re calling that feedback? And they wonder why they need help with confrontation.

Now, in the end, yes, we can and yes, we have, helped many organizations with confrontation and that’s not what I’m here to talk with you about today. I’m talking about that wonderful tool that will reduce the need for confrontation conversations by 70% or more. And that’s real, actual, consistent ,feedback. How about we solve for all of this, with one rather simple thought?

Check in with your people! How many of you are familiar with the phrase: “No news is good news.” Well, throw it out, because it’s a lie, and that’s what’s hurting people, in teams, in almost every industry.

Sure, if you’re a baby boomer, this saying makes sense, yet, baby boomers are quickly phasing out of the workplace. Millennials and those even younger, are dying for your feedback. Let’s bring some psychology into it, when there’s a gap in information. How do people normally fill that gap, with the best case scenario or the worst case scenario?

It’s the worst case, and it’s not a chosen response. It’s simply how we’re wired. That gap of information, is the result of a lack of feedback and there are extremely large costs associated with this.

From Gallup’s Global Workplace report 98% of employees will fail to be engaged when managers give little or no feedback. 69% of employees say they would work harder if they felt their efforts were being better recognized.

From a Cigna report 65% of workers say they feel less connected to their co-workers. Employee disconnection is one of the main drivers of voluntary turnover, costing employers upwards of $406 billion a year. The numbers are right there, staring us in the face.

Feedback is what we need, and not just once or twice a year at performance review time…all the time, or how we put it, open honest face-to-face…or at the very least, screen to screen, conversations 365 days a year with the people central to your success and happiness; whether you report to them, they report to you or nobody reports to anybody.

Now, I could go a lot deeper into this but wanted to keep it short. It’s summer now people’s attention spans are shorter than normal.

Ask us how you can use feedback to improve your culture, engage your people and greatly reduce the need for those dreaded confrontation conversations, and if you do need those, we can (Fierce Inc.) help there, too!

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