Be honest, how often do you take the time to give your employees feedback on their performance? If the answer is, not enough, then read on!
In fact it is very common for managers to find excuses to avoid giving open and honest feedback. There are many possible reasons for this including the fear of not being liked, of mucking it up or of dealing with possible confrontation. However, feedback is an essential part of a productive working relationship and can deliver many benefits for managers, individuals and from a commercial standpoint. We all like and need to know where we stand, and well delivered, constructive feedback can help your team to improve their performance and develop new skills, with the added benefit of keeping them motivated!
So how can we make sure that the feedback we deliver is taken on board positively and delivers the right results?
Top feedback tips:
- Give feedback for positive reasons ie to improve performance and not to unload negative feelings.
- Focus your feedback on what has actually been said and done rather than on personality traits.
- Be as objective as possible by using specific examples and describing what happened rather than making judgements and vague generalisations.
- Make sure that your feedback is balanced ie talk about what went well as well as what could have been better.
- Don’t overload people with feedback. Prioritise what is most important and make sure that the impacts and consequences are understood
- Make sure that the feedback session is two-way! Be available and open to discuss the feedback fully, hear what the individual’s thoughts are, and answer any questions that they may have.
- Make sure that the feedback is given in a timely fashion ie not months after the incident.
- Deliver it sensitively and think about where and when you do it ie not in front of the rest of the team.
- Focus on solutions and what can be done better next time, rather than dwelling on what went wrong.
It is sound practise to have a regular one-to-one meeting with each of your team members and establishing a regular slot within that meeting where you give feedback makes it become much easier to do. Use the tips above to make sure that the feedback that you give is constructive and above all make sure that you have planned and prepared what you are going to say.