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The effect of quick feedback on employee motivation and performance: A qualitative study on how to formulate effective feedback
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Business Administration. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Business Administration. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This thesis conceptualizes quick feedback as part of a performance management tool influencing and contributing to the individual’s self-motivation to work and improvement of employees’ performance. Prior research has shown that feedback is often considered to be a useful communication tool but not essential due to its time-consumption, i.e. feedback is perceived as too time-consuming to be prioritized. Thus, this thesis investigates the potential benefits of a quick feedback strategy focusing on short, specific and unambiguous performance review from the manager to the employee. Quick feedback refers to a few-minute discussion between a manager and one of his or her employees. During the discussion, the manager first reminds the employee of his or her goals. Then, the manager assesses his or her achievement and praises the employee. Finally, the manager explains to the employee what he or she did wrong and concludes by reminding how much his or her work is valued by the company. However, limited research has been done on the topic of quick feedback, and, to the authors’ knowledge, only few researchers have studied ways to mitigate the time-consumption of feedback until now.

Thus, the overall purpose of this thesis is to examine how quick feedback from the manager to the employees can affect their behavior, motivation and ultimately influence their performance. By investigating the effects of quick feedback, the authors seek to acquire greater knowledge regarding how to provide and formulate positive and constructive feedback that will lead to better performance. Therefore, this study has an inductive and qualitative approach and investigates a Swedish insurance company. The authors interviewed the sales manager and ten of his employees in order to discover how the current feedback strategy of the sales manager versus the quick feedback strategy affect the employees’ motivation and performance.

Findings show that the interviewed employees seek the same amount of both positive feedback and constructive criticism and that this quick feedback strategy, in turn, would shape their motivation and performance. However, this linkage has subtleties. Indeed, the employee needs to receive positive feedback, first and foremost, in order to genuinely and cleverly process and make use of the constructive criticism. The employee must feel confident and safe before he or she can listen to and accept constructive criticism. Results further show that in order to formulate accurate and impactful quick feedback, the manager needs to provide face-to-face personalized feedback in a standardized way i.e. standard form but personalized content.

Further research is needed to acquire a greater knowledge about the effectiveness and efficiency of this potentially valuable strategy. The aim is to better understand and therefore use quick feedback to improve employee self-awareness, self-confidence, motivation and performance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 78 p.
Keyword [en]
Feedback, Quick feedback, Motivation, Performance, Management
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-131997ISRN: LIU-IEI-FIL-G--16/01496--SEOAI: diva2:1034884
Subject / course
Bachelor Thesis in Business Administration (Kandidatuppsats i Företagsekonomi)
Available from: 2016-10-13 Created: 2016-10-13 Last updated: 2016-10-13Bibliographically approved

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