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4 Steps for Giving Effective Feedback

By Barbara Beauregard   |    March 12, 2018   |    5:06 PM


Get your message heard with these tips to give feedback that works.

If you want your employees’ performance to improve and for them to overcome previous errors, you must continually give them feedback. They rely on your input to gauge their performance. When provided with the right information, employees can thrive and outperform themselves.  Feedback is therefore essential, however a poll commissioned by Interact revealed that 37% of managers were uncomfortable giving feedback, and 69% reported being uncomfortable communicating with their employees in general. These figures show that it is crucial to learn how to give good feedback so that you can be the best manager possible. Here’s how:

1. Be specific

      Useful feedback needs to be clear and goal-oriented. Vague or abstract comments such as ‘I wasn’t happy with your performance last quarter’ contain no indication as to what the problem was nor how to remedy it and criticism should never be directed ad hominem. You need to include when, what, why and how in all input. You need to state when you were dissatisfied specifically- for example, in March 2018; what was dissatisfactory- for example, the sales report; why the work was considered poor - for example, the figures did not include the latest metrics and the report was poorly written; and how to improve performance - next time the report needs to be written intelligibly and feature the accurate numbers.

      2. Explain the Result

        You should always clearly state along with the why you are unhappy, how this impacts the company, so that the employee has a clear idea of their role within the firm and how their work affects their colleagues and their organization. This in fact can motivate employees to do better. If they don’t understand the wider ramifications of their behavior, they may not comprehend why it is crucial to alter it. Give them a reason to be a team player.

        3. Establish Your Expectations and Track them

          Alongside telling your employee how you expect them to perform better next time, you need to give them clear guidelines as to what you expect from them in the future and tell them how you will be gauging their work that so that both of you are on the same page. However you decide to follow up on the feedback, you need to have a clear and structured way of gauging performance that your employees are aware of and understand.

          ?4. Make it a Dialogue

            You need to make sure that communication avenues are open and allow your employees a chance to give you feedback on the feedback that you give them.  It is possible that your feedback wasn’t clear to them or that they have devised an alternate mode of achieving the same goal more efficiently, or that there was an organizational impediment that held them back during their tasks and needs to be addressed. It is therefore vital to remain receptive and open to dialogue at all times. The last thing you want is to frighten employees into staying silent about issues, misunderstandings or prevent them from expressing creative ideas that may  benefit the company.

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