Working together with your employees to set clear goals is a mark of good leadership. For many managers, this is already second nature, but there are still many who need to sharpen up.
An important indicator of the quality of leadership and the hallmark of good managers is that they put a lot of effort into providing guidance, feedback and ongoing follow-up of agreed targets.
However, it seems that many managers much prefer to make plans than to follow them up. The fact is that more than half of employees say they did not receive clear feedback from their line manager with regard to their achievements over the past 12 months (Source: European Employee Index).
What are the consequences of not following up on one’s employees? Some examples include:
- When there is a lack of follow-up and feedback, job satisfaction goes down (also from the European Employee Index). The desire to give “that little extra” disappears, which in turn reduces productivity.
- When job satisfaction drops, employee loyalty also declines, which puts you at the risk of losing your best people. Replacing staff is expensive – if you can even manage to get new people when the competition for talent is so fierce.
- Even though we are not followed up on a regular basis, most of us make the best of it. The problem is that, for one reason or another, we can lose our focus on important targets. We often end up setting the wrong priorities, making it more difficult to achieve our goals.
- Periodic follow-up helps to keep employees on track. If you don’t follow up your employees, the effects can be devastating. You won’t be able to keep up and it is impossible to say how things will turn out.
- Without regular follow-up activities, opportunities for collaboration and creative problem-solving diminish. You won’t be able to discuss the relationship between performance and results or continuously adjust targets in line with changing circumstances, etc. No follow-up, no learning arena.
- Without feedback, employees stagnate. Without a clear sense of whether what you are doing is right or wrong, it is impossible to address development needs and promote growth.
After the annual appraisal dialogue, many are tempted to think “ok, that’s that over for another year”. However, this should be a beginning rather than an end? Professional and personal development targets are set to be achieved. By conducting regular follow-up activities throughout the year, preferably supported by an HR system, you increase your ability to meet targets and ambitions, to achieve greater job satisfaction and to help ensure that your best employees choose to stay with the company longer.
Make ongoing follow-up a part of your management toolbox. It is profitable!