Leadership Lessons from EmpowHER 2022

Jessica Geis
July 14, 2022

“Do you know what the #1 key to employee retention and satisfaction is?”

We asked this question to our esteemed panelists during Converge’s annual EmpowHER event, and the answer received nods, likes, and fist bumps from our live chat of attendees. The answer?

Frequent and regular feedback.

Not the “good job” or “no news is good news” kind of feedback, but actual, actionable, constructive, and specific feedback. Conscious and deliberate action taken to call a co-worker and give praise or guidance with a particular example in mind is incredibly impactful. The choice to not prioritize this sort of activity is also impactful in demotivating and igniting a culture of slow burning attrition.

If you’re not providing feedback regularly, did you know your employee (who always tries their hardest) might assume they are doing a mediocre job? It’s like waiting for your new romantic interest to call, and he/she/they never does. Rarely is the first thought that their phone died, or they were stuck in a meeting. We always come to the conclusion that they must not like us or met someone else. While this is not a rational leap, it is a real one, nonetheless. So, how frequently do we need to hear from our manager, peers, or direct reports (yes, that’s right, managers like feedback, too!)? The answer is two to four times per week. Providing or receiving feedback at least two times per week is the sweet spot to keep alignment and engagement at the levels where a team knows their value and wants to continue to deliver for themselves and one another.

Another valuable nugget I found while moderating EmpowHER 2022 was learning how one of our amazing panelists grew her career and held many leadership titles in a short time. Her answer? Take every opportunity. Just go for it. Even if you don’t think you’re quite ready for it, know that you are capable and be resourceful, so when you seize the opportunity, you are ready. As each panelist attested to, “Imposter Syndrome” is real at every level. You have overcome this belief at each phase of your career when you’ve mastered your level. In fact, it may be time to jump to the next level if you haven’t felt that fear in a while. That’s where growth happens.

Walking away from this year’s EmpowHER, I already found myself looking forward to our 3rd round of the event next Summer. Specific mantras from the event echoed in my mind – Be bold. Be the change you want to see. Step out of your comfort zone. And please give feedback. As my own form of feedback, I would like to thank each of our panelists, speakers, and attendees from EmpowHER 2022. I would also encourage anyone who missed the session to watch the on demand recording here. Finally, I would love to hear about what you’re hoping to discussing next year and can’t wait to see how we’ve all “gone for it” over the next year.

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