Employee Experience

The power of feedback: Why 360 matters

Everyone is familiar with the phrase “people don’t leave companies, they leave managers.” In the light of recent events we’ve stopped to examine it– and ask: what is it exactly about the manager that is so staggeringly crucial to employee experience?

The answer is not as simple as having a caring relationship with the manager but rather how much the manager is willing to actively invest in an employee’s development. The cornerstone of employee experience can be best summarized as an investment in employee’s employability not just their current employment.

An HBR study suggests that 57% of employees want corrective, developmental feedback rather than praise and recognition.

Employees want their careers enriched so that their skills and profiles become more marketable and relevant. For this reason, developing employees for future-readiness is top of mind for most CEOs and this is precisely why feedback matters, more than ever, today.

So, to reiterate the question – why does feedback matter in this post-covid world? The drivers for this question have both bottom-up as well as top-down influencers in an organization.

The top-down factor

This comes from the idea that leaders are convinced that the future is volatile and unpredictable and it has direct implications for their workforce.

About 90% of the organizations (Deloitte, 2019) are redesigning jobs for the new world of work. Additionally, 84% CHROs firmly believe that upskilling and developing employees is a top priority in the next 10 years.

What makes this challenge more interesting is that the skills in shortage are not hard or technical skills, but soft skills.

A McKinsey report highlights that there is twice as much emphasis on empathy and interpersonal skills since just 2019. Additionally, there is a large focus on developing leadership, critical thinking, decision making, and project management to prepare the workforce for an unpredictable future.

Leaders remain acutely aware that behaviors, rather than technical skills, will prepare us for what’s to come.

A really strong business case for reskilling is also the cost of not doing it.

Research suggests that the average cost involved in reskilling employees is a sum of direct training costs, the employee’s time off work, and any administrative costs.

On the other hand, the cost of not training is exponentially more given that companies will be required to hire externally to address skill shortages through recruitment and onboarding costs – in addition to the cost of having an employee whose skills are no longer relevant.

The bottom-up factor

This has become more influential as the pool for remote work widens.

It’s fast becoming a candidate’s market where if their needs are not being met, the options are endless for remote work. To that end, it’s essential to offer employees intentional development.

According to a recent study, 94% of employees would stay longer if the company invested in their growth to enable future-readiness. This statement is particularly true for the younger workforce. This is important as by 2025, 75% of the workforce will be made up of millennials.

Creating opportunities for personal and professional growth will be seen as a top benefit offered by a company as well as one of the most urgent retention strategies. Employees require feedback and if a recent Harvard study is to be believed, 92% of about 900 respondents agreed with the assertion, “Negative feedback, if delivered appropriately, is effective at improving performance.”

Feedback then becomes an integral vehicle for change especially when the mentor, coach, or manager operates from a standpoint of “what does this individual need to do to be maximally effective in their role”, rather than tying the act of providing feedback with pay, promotion, or performance management.

These scenarios result in peer feuds and motivating feedback from a deficient mindset because usually, promotions and pay raises are finite in number in an organization.

When feedback is given purely from an investment standpoint, the fidelity of response is higher and comes from a place of benefiting others rather than benefiting themselves.

Typically, 360 assessments are seen as an individual development activity and due to the nature of the administrative burden required to set up a development program, companies often limit them to a once-a-year, small cohort activity. This is despite understanding the benefits of scaling development to every employee.

At Qualtrics, we put creating a positive employee experience, ease of use, personalization, and scalability at the heart of everything we do. Using 360 Development you can address the top-down and bottom-up drivers for development needs, while personalizing programs that can be scaled so that every employee can experience investment in their growth.

Learn more about how you can use 360 Development to develop talent across the organization.


Enhance Employee Development Using 360 Feedback