Early in my career I had a coworker supervisor named Larry and he was constantly asking anybody that would listen,? how am I doin?. This was very funny at the time and seemed a little weird. Larry even earned the nickname ?how am I doin Larry?. As I have traveled a great distance since then I have learned more about how important feedback is, particularly about progress being made, to workforce engagement and productivity.
We all tend to keep our own internal score rating how we believe we are doing compared to some standard we have defined. What does that mean relative to feedback at work? There is a great book that lends insight to the question about how frequent is frequently enough. The book is called The Progress principle by Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer. A clue to their discoveries is on the cover subtitle. Using small wins to ignite joy, engagement and creativity at work.
I have posted on a variety of subjects including goals and goals setting. I believe having clear goals is very important but without feedback, having the goals doesn?t really do much. In fact, feedback about your progress is very important. The good news is many times that feedback can come from the work itself if the job is effectively designed.
The message I?m sending is that we all want to see that we are making some kind of progress toward out goals. In the workplace this requires not only goal clarity and goal significance but also a method to measure and communicate progress toward the goal on a frequent basis. If you are reading this and coming to the conclusion that it takes lots of time, I?m sure it sounds that way. However, if you want to have the experience of a workforce that is giving you their discretionary contribution, taking the time to be clear on goals and finding opportunities for frequent evidence of progress is well worth your time.
Like many other things the time spent on clear thinking about how to set up goals and feedback systems that support the need we all have for knowing we are making progress toward our goals will be a very good investment of your time. If you get time read The Progress Principle or let me know if I can be helpful.