How to deliver performance feedback to your employees By Dayne Shuda
Employee feedback is important for the success of any organization.
But giving performance feedback is not as simple as telling someone what they’re doing wrong and what they should be doing instead.
In fact, one study found that the best performing employees respond negatively to negative feedback during performance reviews. These employees may, as a result of negative feedback, withdraw from tasks where they may fail and receive additional negative feedback.
So what can you do to ensure that the performance feedback you provide allows your employees to improve themselves and your organization?
How To Formulate Feedback Well
The best approach I have found, as a business owner, is to focus on constructive feedback.
However, some think that constructive feedback is negative feedback only. And some think that negative feedback is the only kind of feedback.
But it's really about feedback that the employee can take action on.
Telling someone what they’re doing wrong is not actionable. Showing them how to do something helps them. Showing them what the expected goal is, helps them see what they need to do in the future to improve.
Employees also respond well to positive feedback; telling them what elements of the task they have done well so they know to continue doing those things.
It’s often the positive feedback that is taken for granted by managers. It’s easy to think that there is no reason for positive feedback because that is what the employee should be doing; that’s their job.
It's also important to explain why you are making a suggestion so the person can understand their role in the company's mission and vision.
How To Make Feedback A Continuous Conversation Rather Than A Once-A-Year Event
Give feedback as necessary and even when it's not necessary. Always leave the conversation for two-way feedback so the employee can voice concerns or questions and you can provide feedback on how they're doing their tasks.
Feedback during tasks and really at all times can foster a culture of continuous improvement.
How To Give Feedback A Positive Connotation
It's effective to provide positive feedback.
It's just as important to tell someone to "Keep doing this..." as it is to tell them to "Do this instead of this...".
Positive feedback feels good and it makes the person feel like they're doing it right and to keep doing it that way while looking for ways to improve.
How To Help People Access Feedback And Coaching
Keep their best interest in mind.
Always think about why they have the job and what they want to get out of the job. Keep their interest and your company's interests aligned as best as possible and communicate that synergy. This way you're both working for a positive situation.
A relevant example right now would be a football coach telling an individual player that he has to perform a specific task on the football field to help the team win. If the team wins the player will get more personal recognition nationally and expand the team's brand and the player's personal brand.
Feedback is not just telling an employee what they’re doing wrong. That’s actually the smallest part of the feedback pie.
What’s often overlooked is the most important element of feedback and that is positive feedback - telling someone what they’ve done correctly so they can continue doing it and showing them how to do something correct in the future for their benefit and the organization’s benefit.
Make it a part of your culture to provide positive feedback at all times as positive things happens.
Show employees how to do something so they can do it in the future. It’s okay to learn from the past, but once something happens it’s over with so move on to what needs to happen in the future.
And finally, avoid general negative feedback like, “You’re doing it wrong.” or “I don’t like it. Try again.”
General feedback is not helping anybody and provides no direction on what should be done in the future.
Focus on the future and how both the employee and the organization can succeed and you’ll have a culture of positive performance feedback for your employees.
About The Author
Dayne Shuda is the founder of Ghost Blog Writers, a blog writing service for businesses. The company started as a freelance venture, but has become full-service blogging business with several writers with various backgrounds and areas of expertise. Dayne lives in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, where he enjoys outdoor activities and cheering for the Green Bay Packers.