Employees who are engaged create effective and high-performing businesses. Providing feedback to employees plays a huge part in engaging them and allowing them to develop and improve.
The way you provide that feedback however, can transform an engaged team into a high-performing, collaborative and happy team. Feedback isn’t just about letting someone know they’re doing a good job or vice-versa. Feedback has nuances that require careful consideration to ensure clarity and a positive atmosphere moving forward.
Here are the keys to providing effective employee feedback:
When meeting with an employee, the conversation needs to be about their performance and not personality.
That means rather than saying “You need to be calmer”, you should say, “It would benefit you to take a more relaxed approach when speaking to clients”. This makes the focus of the conversation tangible.
A person can adjust their approach much easier than they can adjust their personality.
Whether you’re praising an employee or looking to fix an issue, it’s important to stay positive and find ways to build on successes or failures.
You may have heard of the classic method called the ‘compliment sandwich’. This consists of giving negative feedback sandwiched in between two positive pieces.
The truth is that this is a very ineffective way to provide feedback. The message you are trying to get across gets lost in the midst of a host of different information. Employees will either take the negative you provided and ignore the positive or vice-versa, they will take the positives and ignore the negative.
Instead, provide feedback in a constructive manner that enables an employee to build on your feedback and improve their performance.
Saying “You need to improve your sales” or “your communication skills are lacking” won’t solve any issues or be the catalyst for improvement.
Being specific can really help an employee to improve their performance and ultimately help them succeed in the role.
Rather than “your sales need to improve”, speak about where in the process they need to improve and how they can do that. Maybe they need to adjust the frequency of client follow-up or change their sales materials.
If you wait until the quarterly or bi-annual review to give positive or negative feedback, you could be damaging an employee’s performance.
Feedback is most effective when it is fresh and relevant.
If you notice an employee is doing something well, or badly, and you leave discussing their actions until a scheduled performance review, that decision could be hugely detrimental. In that time, an employee performing well might become disengaged or an employee doing something incorrectly could be damaging the company.
The quarterly or bi-annual review should always be focused on the overall performance of an employee and building on their efforts for the next quarter or six months.
Build for the Future
Feedback is about finding ways to engage and improve. That’s why, when providing feedback, you should build systems and processes to ensure improvement.
When an employee has been doing something great, have them coach other employees about their techniques. Equally, if a member of staff has been struggling with their work, help them to develop systems and processes to improve.
Feedback for You
Effective employee feedback also includes listening. Ask your employee for feedback on your management and the company as a whole. Find out what they are enjoying and what can be improved.
By not only listening but taking action on their feedback, you have an opportunity to create an even more engaged team. It goes without saying that making improvements and changes based on employee feedback can have a huge impact by making your employees feel heard.
Keep up the Momentum
Don’t sit back and be content after completing your employee reviews. The way to make reviews most effective is by sustaining the momentum. This maintains an engaged team and keeps your office and company on a successful track.
Once you have your employee feedback techniques refined, there’s no telling of the impact it can have.