It’s all in the delivery
The rules have changed. It isn’t good enough to offer regular recognition or constructive feedback. You have to do it in a way that employees have no idea that you are offering assistance. At least that’s what a recent study from University of Michigan says. Researchers found that when workers aren’t aware they are receiving managerial support, they respond better to the help being given.
A recent article in Businessweek outlines the study. It explains that although advice delivered effectively from a manager should be a positive experience, it may make an employee feel vulnerable or threatened. Some workers may be embarrassed that they need help or may wonder if they are lacking in other areas too.
The solution is to stop thinking about feedback and support. Instead, consider why you value your team. Then show that appreciation naturally. Choose moments that arise organically. For example, asking someone’s opinion and listening to the answer can go a long way toward communicating that you value the employee’s work and expertise.
The challenge for HR is that subtle management techniques require more training and better managers. Do most managers in your organization have the maturity and skills to deliver feedback that makes employees feel valued and respected?