Eight Things One Must Consider While Giving Feedback

Employee Engagement, Employee Relations, Rewards and Recognition

Preparing feedback is one of those numerous paradoxes, which every organization ought to do for improving its overall work culture and employee efficiency. The ideal feedback should be a mixed bag of both appreciations and criticisms, which will ensure an employee’s professional as well as personal growth. The following pointers should be kept in mind when someone is preparing employee feedbacks –

  1. There should be Enough Rooms for Constructive Criticisms - Continually pointing out mistakes is a sure-shot way of eliciting defensiveness in employees. Always remember that nothing could be worse than out-and-out negative feedback. Strength-spotting is an effective way of bringing out the best in an employee. It’s a proven fact that every employee tends to grow mostly in their areas of strengths. Even if it’s required to pinpoint an employee’s weakness, it should be done with care. Every criticism should be constructive enough to propel employee productivity and engagement.  
  2. Be Specific On What the Employees are Required to Do - Employee feedback should be to-the-point and task-focused. Instead of beating around the bush, feedback should be specific about the areas that an employee needs to improve. One-Liner remarks like “your work did not impress the management,” etc. will never help an employee understand the management’s need or recommendations. Rather, an employee should be informed about his/her strengths or weaknesses in a more specific manner.  
  3. Waiting for a Quarterly Review should be Avoided - It’s important to nip any issue as soon as it rears its head. If left unsolved, these issues could intensify in a domino effect. This means that by the time when quarterly performance feedbacks come around, the management would be shrouded by a host of other problems, which could have been avoided if solved earlier.  Another problem with a quarterly review process is that the major issues would be forgotten or overlooked by the moment the feedbacks are prepared. This is where the weekly or regular feedbacks come into play.
  4. Criticizing an Employee in Public is Nothing Short of a Sin - It’s a common human tendency to notice flaws in others. The outcome of wrong-spotting could get ugly when it takes place in public. Instead of being criticized in a public arena, an employee should be rebuked in a private meeting. A formal setting will create an ideal atmosphere where the employees can be asked to rectify their mistakes or boost their productivity.
  5. The Method of Three-Bits-of-Feedback must be followed - Every manager must provide the employees with three-bits-of-reviews. While giving feedback, an employee should be provided with three skills and three areas of potential growth. Obtaining such reviews at a time will help the employees boost their performance with more diligence.  They would be more likely to take the management’s feedback as an opportunity to grow rather than feeling hurt or humiliated.
  6. Performance Should Receive the Primary Focus - Every employee is looking to shine. They want to be accountable for their goals, workloads, and responsibilities. A good employee’s role should be to stimulate his/her skills to help a company grow. If an employee is good enough at doing so, then the management needs not to take his/her personal character traits into account. The best managers know how to propel the employees towards their objectives sans making their character assassination.  
  7. Employee Feedbacks Must Go Both Ways  - Employee evaluation is very difficult to make. It entails a lot of care and thoughts to accomplish it properly. So, they should be provided with opportunities galore to communicate their concerns in the official meetings. It will help the management understand the employees’ requisites or preferences. This will also create a healthy rapport between the management and employees.
  8. Things should be Ended On a Positive Note - Helping an employee improve his/her performance should be the main objective of constructive feedback. Going back over the past errors of an employee could leave them with a very negative impression of an organization. When an issue needs to be addressed, the management should discuss it at the beginning of a conversation. If the problem is left to be discussed at the end of the meeting, then every word of appreciation showered on an employee would remain forgotten.

Finally –

Employee feedback is more than just a pat on the back or a drop in a bucket. This is the reason why management should follow the aforementioned tips while preparing employee feedbacks. 

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