How to give feedback which is effective and yields results?
November 8, 2023
In any organisation, managers and leaders need to be well aware of the state of affairs. It is especially important to stay in the loop about the work atmosphere, culture and experience of the employees. Interacting with your employees in a systematic and regular pattern is crucial. It is also important that you plan and develop a system to take and give feedback to employees. Unless the employer knows how to give feedback and deploys the apt measures, the effect on workflow and productivity will be adverse. This is why many ventures are developing custom employee feedback systems.
Knowing how to give feedback to employees matters
Feedback is a powerful means to ensure organisation growth and it also helps managers maintain and strengthen relationships with their teams. Being unsure about the right ways of giving feedback can lead to various hurdles at the workplace.
If the employer does not know how to give feedback properly it will be hard to keep the workforce motivated. Irregular and superficial feedback does not cut much ice. Feedback also means clarity. Without proper and regular feedback employees tend to become less interested in their roles and work becomes a monotonous chore. This takes a toll on overall productivity .
Error detection and rectification
Unless you know how to give feedback to employees it will be hard to make them well aware of mistakes they commit at the workplace. It will also be tedious to make them evade committing such errors. Lack of feedback from the management or top brass of the company makes employees prone to committing errors and overlooking them in the long run. They may develop a laid-back attitude on this and it can lead to serious repercussions down the line.
Better professional equations, and relationships
When an employer knows how to give feedback to his/her employees, it becomes easier to develop and nurture professional relationships. A consistent and regular feedback system in place leads to healthy and proper interactions between the employer and employees. This helps develop an ideal work culture in the organization.
Knowing how to give feedback to the workforce helps a venture owner retain well-performing employees. In most organizations, there is a section of employees keen on exceeding expectations and targets. Such exceptionally-performing employees stay motivated when they receive proper, regular feedback from the top brass. They are keen on sharpening their skills and performing better and for that proper feedback is the key! The lack of consistent feedback may make them less interested in continuing in the entity for long.
Reduction of conflicts
The absence of a balanced and planned employee feedback system in any organization often paves the way to conflicts. Without consistent and proper feedback to employees, there cannot be a proper flow of information. When employees receive feedback on their work and performance-related issues systematically and consistently, they fathom where changes should be made. This helps minimize the scope of performance deficits in the future.
Learning how to give feedback to your employees properly
You may not be sure of how to give feedback to your workforce. The reality is you need to analyze factors like prevalent work culture, venture growth plans, and employee policies before planning and developing an employee feedback system. Seeking the expertise of third-party business consultancies can be handy when you are not sure of how to give feedback to employees.
Listed below are some tried and tested methods to plan and deploy effective employee feedback systems in a venture:
Be specific and evade vague feedback
It is important that employers offer specific and clear feedback to their employees on various issues. Employee feedback should have no trace of vagueness to be effective. Do not offer feedback like “overall performance needs to be improved”, for example. Such generalized feedback may not have the desired impact on the recipient. It is important to mention areas that need to be improved and how.
Evade excess harshness and negativity
Are you unsure where to draw the fine line between criticism and a constructive approach while giving feedback to your employees? Well, you are not alone! Instances of employers feeling unsure about how to give feedback in a balanced manner are aplenty.
It would be prudent to act a little cautiously here. Pointing out the mistakes committed by an employee while giving feedback to him/her can be necessary sometimes. However, avoid the urge to go over the top as it can affect the motivation level adversely! Ideally, you should highlight ways to avoid repeating the mistakes in the future while offering feedback. It would also be a good idea to remind such employees about their past achievements and tell them you expect them to do much better.
Using the right channel
As an employer, knowing how to give feedback is important as it is important to pick the right channels! Both face-to-face and various online channels can be used to offer feedback to employees. However, the context should be used to determine the right means/channel for feedback.
Team leaders and managers may choose e-mail to offer scheduled monthly feedback to their subordinates. Companies embracing remote and hybrid work modes often choose video conferencing as a feedback tool, often. However, for offering feedback to specific employees making serious errors using the face–to–face approach works better.
Using a schedule
Organizations with ambitious growth plans and a focus on employee engagement, often resort to scheduled feedback systems. This can be deployed across various departments and tiers in the organizations, for sure.
Based on the workflow and needs, it can be weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or quarterly. When a schedule is there for feedback, both employees and the employer act in a systematic and cohesive way. Such a system helps keep employees engaged and aware of performance monitoring. This also helps in eliminating slackness in the workflow.
No one-way communication
If you want to know how to give feedback to the workforce that helps improve things, focus on two-way interactions. After offering your feedback to an employee, ask for his/her point of view too. It may reveal the root causes behind the performance deficit of an employee, at times. This will help both parties fathom the best ways to identify the root and resolve the issue. It also ensures the concerned employee does not feel the employer/ management is just imposing their views on him/her.
Using appreciation and constructive feedback
From time to time, it is necessary to offer constructive feedback to deserving employees in the venture. Not all feedback has to be corrective, for sure! Keep some time to identify employees exceeding their targets and setting benchmarks for others to follow. Are you not sure how to give feedback to such exceptional performers? You may use a personal note of appreciation, over a call or email. Such positive feedback helps keep the performers motivated.
Evading public criticism
At times, you may feel let down by the poor performance of certain employees in the venture. Sometimes, the mistake of an employee may lead to serious repercussions. In such cases, giving the proper corrective feedback to such employees becomes a necessity. However, do not resort to criticizing them publicly. Doing so will not only make those employees demotivated but it will also have a negative impact on others witnessing the incident. It is better to opt for a detailed face-to-face but private feedback session to resolve the matter.
Focusing on the issue and not the person
Some employers cannot fathom how to give feedback to certain employees while focusing on the subject. It is important to keep focus on the subject while giving feedback to employees, more so for corrective feedback. While you may dislike certain attributes or working styles of such employees (such as talkative or extrovert nature), the focus of feedback should be on what is affecting the work quality and output. The feedback should not highlight the personal traits and aspects of employees much.
Summing it up
Businesses need to develop and deploy effective employee feedback systems for better growth, productivity and employee experience. It also helps reduce the scope of errors and conflicts in the workplace. Employers who are unsure about how to give feedback to employees can seek the services of veteran business consultancies. There are expert business consultancy entities offering custom work culture analysis and employee development services. Their expertise and targeted intervention packages are ideal for businesses seeking to develop and use robust employee feedback systems.
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