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Does feedback matter?

July 2007 - This quarter we asked respondents how often they received feedback on their performance and whether that feedback could be characterised as constructive.

Frequency of feedback All respondents % Happy at work
Once a month 17% 85%
Once a year 16% 82%
Once every three months 15% 86%
Once a week 13% 82%
Never 13% 69%
Once every six months 12% 80%
Less than once a year 7% 67%
Once a fortnight 6% 67%

Our research shows a clear correlation between feedback and happiness at work with those who receive regular feedback claiming higher levels of satisfaction. The exception is the small number who say they receive feedback on a fortnightly basis. This may, of course, be a reflection of an employer's attempt to manage underperformance.

Nature of feedback All respondents % Happy at work
Constructive and balanced 87% 86%
Critical and unbalanced 13% 51%

So, regular and constructive and balanced feedback has a clear influence on levels of happiness at work. What is interesting however is that the happiness of half of those who believe their feedback to be critical and unbalanced is unaffected.