Both managers and employees often see performance feedback as awkward and often not beneficial. Employees often see feedback simply as the company’s way of assessing who gets a raise, a promotion or who get fired. Managers often see feedback as a waste of time, and don't actually give advice that is both constructive and useful to the employee. As a result, employees are left frustrated as they feel they are stagnating personally and professionally
Often performance reviews occur on an annual or bi annual basis, so it's imperative the manager makes the review process as meaningful and beneficial to the employee as possible. In order to make the process effective, organisations must implement an effective system or undertaking that assists management in giving timely, accurate and efficient feedback.
Here are some tips and techniques managers can use when giving employees feedback:
Employees should be aware of their positive or need of improvement areas before the review:
Efficient managers, will discuss employee's performance on a weekly or biweekly occasion. This eliminates the situation where an employee is not sure of what his/her goals and objectives are and how they are performing to achieve them. This also gives the manager a good understanding during the annual performance review, of how the employee has performed over the year.
During the performance process, managers need to set a tone:
Often experts talk about the feedback sandwich (compliments, criticism, compliments). But, as there is no clear and meaningful message, this can demoralize the best employees and falsely encourage the weaker employees. Instead, try be as specific to each employee as possible. If the employee has performed well, compliment them. If the situation arises where the employee has not met the standards expected of them, don't sugar coat the feedback. Instead adopt an approach that is pragmatic and direct. When that person is not performing well, they will not get a promotion, stagnate in their professional development and probably won't get a raise. by making the situation superficial, the employee will develop a false understanding of their performance and will be left frustrated in the long run.
Managers must provide feedback that is constructive and productive.
Once an employee understand their strength and potential weakness, give them feedback in terms of the stop, start and continue approach. Ask questions such as: What is the employee doing now that is not working? What are they doing that is highly effective? and what actions should they adopt to more effective?
Some do’s and dont’s Managers should adhere to:
- Hold performance planning sessions at the beginning of the year, so employees understand what is expected of them.
- Send a copy of the manager's assessment over to the employee before the performance review so the employee can prepare.
- Managers must make sure to deliver positive messages to the employees who are excelling in their position.
- Give feedback that is vague and general. Managers must be as specific about behaviours as possible.
- give feedback that is superficial. use the face-to-face as an opportunity to demand improvement