You spent months looking for that hidden gem you so needed to take a part of your team. Then you had to negotiate their benefits and salary because they kept getting other offers. But lastly, you got them to sign your offer, contract and they are now your full-time employee.
What now? The race for talent does not stop there. In another post, we discussed the importance of retaining the best talent, and some tips to achieve that goal. Today I would like to talk about the elephant in some rooms. Properly providing feedback to your employees. It is difficult for your team members to know how they are performing if nobody tells them they could make a better job or they have performed excellently. Feedbacks are an opportunity to improve your teams’ performance and quality, increase your leadership skills, enhance your company’s numbers and encourage employee engagement. There is basically no downside to feedback. Because even when it may be perceived as negative, it opens room for improvement in many areas.
How to properly provide feedback?
Like everything in human interaction, there is not just one formula for providing feedback. But here are some tips you may want to consider when doing it:
- Make sure it is face to face. Even if it’s through video call, it is important the person receiving the feedback is able to look at your facial expressions and vice versa. Never take the human away from the human interaction by providing feedback through email or chat. It is always important this person hears your voice and sees your face.
- Always give them a heads up about the feedback. Do not just schedule a meeting between the two of you and then surprise them with your impressions and results of their performance. They are probably aware of that, but you should always make the scheduling and planning of a feedback meeting to be consensual. Ask them “Hello Pete, you have been with us for 3 months now. And I thought you might appreciate a meeting where we talk about how you are feeling so far. And discuss about your performance, what do you think? Do you have availability this week?”. Showing them you would also like to hear about how they are feeling and evaluate the company as well will make them be in this meeting with a more positive approach.
- Give feedback as immediate as possible. If your employee did something right or wrong make sure you provide private feedback as soon as possible. This, again, opens room for improvement, you do not want to sit on feedback.
- Teach with example. When you provide feedback that may be perceived as negative you have to make sure this person can follow guidelines or someone else that will help them in correcting the behavior or approach. There is no point in providing negative feedback that is not followed by training or tips that will make them improve.
5. Be specific but do not micromanage. Avoid focusing on small errors or judging people because they do not follow your personal working styles. Instead, address specific actions and behaviors. Providing a clear description of how that behavior was right or wrong and that you wish for it to be repeated or stopped. Do not aim your feedback at discouraging them, but at helping them improve their performance.
6. Focus on the positive. Even when providing negative feedback it is important that you also address at the beginning of your meeting the strong points of their performance, their accomplishments, and how important it is for your organization that they are on board. Appreciate their efforts every time. We never know what is going on in other people’s lives that may be affecting their performance. So you want to make sure you give them room to express themselves before making any decision or reprimand. Show them support in any other personal field, they will value this and make them want to better themselves once their downtimes are gone. Always listen to their version of the story.
7. Accept feedback and leave the door open. Encourage your employee to give you feedback as well. This nurtures an open and healthy interaction in the workplace. And we can all improve our performances and behaviors, especially as leaders. Before ending the meeting set goals and steps and schedule a future conversation to monitor mutual progress.
Organizations must take feedback seriously and as a part of routine work. Because it Is key to organizational development, company growth, and Employer Brand. Leading to a more communicative, approachable, and collaborative organizational culture characterized by excellent performance.