For a Mountain Climber and an Employee, Feedback is Mandatory to Reach Your Goals

Our Senior Consultant and Employee Experience subject matter expert, Mike Hill recently returned from trekking Mount Kilimanjaro. THE MOUNT KILIMANJARO! While away, Mike realized there are similarities between what a hiker experiences while attempting Kilimanjaro and what employee’s experience in their day-to-day work. Mike will share his thoughts in the coming editions of our First Friday newsletter.

For both the hiker and the employee, feedback is mandatory to reach their goal. In the case of someone attempting Mount Kilimanjaro, it’s daily feedback. The case of an employee is dependent on the task. Feedback may need to be given daily, weekly, or at least monthly.

Let’s look at the feedback that is given to a Mount Kilimanjaro trekker. In my case, we started hiking each day at about 7:00am. Breaks were taken about every 90 minutes during which you would take your day pack off, drink some water, maybe eat a snack and relax as best you can for 15-20 minutes. During this “break” the guides would be asking each of us, “how you are doing?” and “how you are feeling?” Water is critical at high altitudes so we were always asked, “how much water have you drank?” If the guides heard any troubling answers or saw any struggling hiker, their needs would be addressed.

The ultimate feedback came each night after dinner when each hiker’s pulse and oxygen levels were taken with an oximeter. If low numbers are reported, the guides would take the appropriate action to get that person’s levels to an acceptable level to continue the trek. A motivational discussion then followed about that day’s hike, and then a preview of what was ahead for the following day.

According to PwC, nearly 60% of employees surveyed stated that they would like feedback on a daily or weekly basis – a number that increased to 72% for employees under age 30. With the majority of employees asking for feedback, why don’t we give it to them? Most managers say: “I don’t have time; it doesn’t seem to produce results.” I have found that the “true” reasons are managers don’t know how to give feedback, and they feel uncomfortable attempting to give feedback.

I found in my own business that giving feedback was not that difficult once we established the objective measurements that we (the employee and the boss) could agree to. The feedback session could then focus on the employee: meeting, exceeding, or not-meeting expectations.

If you need help in asking/surveying your employees to determine what type of, and how often they need feedback, we can help. Addressing your employees needs makes them more productive, making your organization more successful.

Contact me: [email protected]