Exploring the employee perception of performance feedback : an inquiry into improving employee motivation and performance.


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In today’s organizations, employee feedback plays a critical role in driving performance and increasing results (Stone & Heen, 2014). Furthermore, a lack of feedback or feedback poorly received can cost the organization decreased employee satisfaction, poor performance, voluntary turnover, and the associated costs to attract and replace talent (Mollel et al., 2017). Useful feedback can eliminate ambiguity, motivate employees, and increase job satisfaction (Kaymaz, 2011). Conversely, ineffective feedback can lower employee motivation, decrease performance, and increase turnover (Taylor, 2015; Vnoučková & Klupáková, 2013). Also, the current literature does not explore why the employee who receives feedback may or may not be motivated to perform after seeking feedback and why it matters (Anseel & Brutus, 2019; Kenny et al., 2006; Tse & Ashkanasy, 2015). Loss of performance and turnover add potential costs for the organization, and the gap in the literature makes feedback worthy of exploring. This descriptive case study provided a versatile research design that enabled me to explore the feedback practice within one American corporate organization. I applied the theoretical framework of regulatory focus and fit to examine employee feedback, motivation, and performance. The single case approach of 15 participants provided an in-depth, detailed description of the employee feedback experience and the impact participants believed it had on their motivation and performance. The qualitative design, data collection, and analysis were appropriate methodology to address the primary research question. This study addressed the question, what impact do employees believe feedback has on motivation and performance? Feedback impacts employee motivation and performance. The study benefits employees who seek to improve their performance, managers who want to leverage feedback to drive performance, and organizations seeking a competitive advantage. The study also described feedback from the employee perspective, benefiting the research community and closing the gap in the literature today. The employees’ perceptions were that feedback matters; it impacts their motivation and performance; organizations cannot afford to leave it to chance.



Employee. Feedback. Motivation. Performance. Manager. Organization.