The do’s and don’ts for providing feedback

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The do’s and don’ts for providing feedback

Providing feedback to your employees can be difficult, especially if that feedback isn’t positive.

How do you provide feedback to your employees?  Here are the do’s and don’ts for providing feedback to your employees…

Some employers opt to provide negative feedback in the form of a ‘feedback sandwich’ providing positive, negative and then positive feedback again.  This acts to ‘soften the blow’ for what the employer actually wants to tell the employee.  However, this can come across as insincere and confusing for an employee who is being provided with the feedback.

So how do you provide feedback?

Positive feedback

Providing praise for your employees when its due is an integral part of ensuring that your employees stay engaged and motivated.  Telling your employees when they have done something well shows your employees that you value their efforts, dedication and commitment to the business. Praising your employees also promotes and endorses the displayed behaviour which means it is more likely to be repeated.

Small gestures of appreciation and acknowledgement can go a long way in increasing motivation, performance and at its greatest reach, employee morale and culture.

So how can you provide positive feedback to your employees?

  • Timing – Tell the employee right away when they do something well, don’t wait
  • Frequency – Don’t just provide praise because you feel like you have to. Be genuine and don’t overdo it.
  • Be Specific – Provide an example of what was done well so that your employee understands what they did well. A simply ‘good job’ can come across as vague and insincere.
  • Communicate it – Make sure that other employees also know when someone is doing a fantastic job, this will show other employees what the desired performance/behaviour is. Small gestures of appreciation and acknowledgement can go a long way in increasing motivation, performance and even employee morale and culture.

Constructive Feedback

So how do you provide constructive feedback?  And yes there is a very clear reason that we refer to this as ‘constructive feedback’ rather than ‘negative feedback’.  You should never just provide your employees with negative comments, instead you should try to let your employees know where they may have fallen short and how they could do better next time.

Providing constructive feedback is an important and often absent part of effective performance management.

So here are the key things to remember…

  • Choose the right setting – Ensure that you are in a private space, away from other employees and colleagues.  Public shaming or drawing attention to poor performance reflects poorly on you as a manager.
    This can also have a detrimental affect on the employee, and those that can hear the conversation.
  • Describe and clarify the specific situation – Tell the employee how the performance/behaviour was not up to the expected standard.  Explain to the employee what they did and how they did it.
  • Describe the impact of the behaviour – How did this affect the business, clients or their co-workers.
  • Tell your employee what the desired outcome was – How could the employee handle the situation better or how could they have meet your expectations.

Providing feedback and managing your staff can be difficult but HR Central is here to help.  Give us a call at 1300 717 721.

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