Appreciation, Affirming Feedback and Retention!

According to the Department of Labor in the USA, 64% of working Americans leave their jobs because they don’t feel appreciated, while Gallup research shows that 70% of working Americans say they receive no praise or recognition on the job.

Is there any reason to suspect that things may be different or better here in the UK? I doubt it. We have a long history of management by exception (managers leaving the good stuff alone and focussing on the problems). Often work is designed so that managers really don’t get to see or hear the good stuff that goes on.

I have played my part in this.

I once helped a call centre to install a piece of software that allowed callers to rate the quality of service provided by the agent. Low scores generated e-mails to team leaders with attached MP3 recordings of the call and invited them to provide coaching to the agent involved where appropriate.

This helped to quickly reduce the number of problem calls.  But it also had the unwanted effect of damaging the perceptions that team leaders had of many of their agents – because the only stuff they saw and heard was bad. Likewise agents started to perceive team leaders as critical, picky and failing to appreciate the good work that was done. No wonder employee retention in the call centre business is low.

Once we changed the software so that team leaders got e-mailed about the great calls as well as the bad ones things in this call centre rapidly got better.

  • Is your job designed to help you to see, appreciate and feedback on the good stuff that your team members do?
  • Have you been trained in how to do this well?
  • Do you spend enough time and effort on it?
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