Feedback is essential in every organization. This is something we hear all the time, we read it in all the books and newspapers, but yet, we still have so many managers who need to hear it again. Feedback is essential in every organization.
Feedback comes in many forms and from many sources like:
– Our customers
– Our suppliers
– Our leaders or managers
– Our employees or subordinates
– Our family and friends
Specifically let’s look at feedback between us and our employees though. We need to make sure our employees feel comfortable receiving feedback. They need to come to expect it, but this doesn’t happen simply by telling people to expect feedback at anytime. We as managers have to make sure the time for feedback is at a time when the employee is willing and able to listen to it.
Walking up to someone when they are in the middle of working on a big project with a tight deadline may not be the best time to give someone feedback. They may be so entrenched in what they are doing that the message becomes lost. So it’s important to ask if it is ok to give feedback.
This is a crucial step in the feedback process that is often overlooked by most managers. It isn’t something that has to be too formal, but asking ensures the employee is willing and able to hear what the message is.
You could use something like:
– Hey John, I have been observing your attitude at work over the last little while can I give you some feedback?
– Hey Sue, I looked over this report you handed in, can I share some feedback with you?
– Hey Jamie, I noticed the way you handled that situation, can I offer some feedback on it?
It is important the people we are giving feedback to are mentally in a state to hear the feedback. By asking, it is no longer a surprise and it gives the person a chance to prepare themselves to receive the message we want to deliver.
As managers feedback allows us to keep in touch with the staff, congratulate them on their successes, and help them with areas to improve. We should always make sure we provide all the details our staff need in order for them to understand the feedback. Here is a breakdown on what they need to know:
– What specific action or behavior are you giving feedback on?
– When did this action or behavior take place?
– Where did this action or behavior take place?
– How did that action or behavior make you feel or affect people?
– Why is it important for them to continue or discontinue this action or behavior?
The message we deliver is very important. Not just the words we use, but also, when we use them, and how often. Delivering feedback is not something that should be done on a rare occurrence but neither is it something that should happen like clockwork.
Feedback is a tool that is used frequently to recognize someone’s actions or behaviors and express to them how those actions or behaviors were perceived. This means it should be used often to offer insight to people on what they are doing well, and what they could improve on.
People often think of feedback as something to get when we did something wrong, but this is not always the case. When someone does something well we should also be giving them feedback. It’s important to provide feedback often as well so people don’t recognize it as something to do only when we have to.
An example of positive feedback might include:
– Jamie, when that customer was yelling at you and you remained calm and continued to be courteous to the customer I felt my confidence in you go up.
An example of negative feedback might be:
– Jamie, when that customer was yelling at you and you were not able to remain calm and courteous to the customer I felt my confidence in you go down.
Providing regular feedback which is both positive and negative is great. We also have to make sure we mean it. By using empathy we are able to put ourselves in the shoes of the person receiving the feedback. This should give us an indication of what tone of voice and body language to use. We always want to use body language and a tone of voice to match the feedback we are delivering.
Remember these steps when providing feedback:
1) Ask if you can provide the feedback
2) Give feedback about a specific behavior or action
3) Feedback can be used to celebrate success or give insight on areas to improve
4) Provide feedback often
5) Use empathy, be genuine, mean what you say