One of the most important jobs of a leader is to provide subordinates with honest and useful feedback. However, it is a popular belief that it is always a good idea to provide your employees with positive feedback and skip out on the negative, especially for high performing employee. Studies have found that the kind of feedback an employee likes to receive is largely dependent on their status in the firm rankings. Junior-level employees are always hungry for praise, and any positive feedback acts as a morale booster for them. A high performing employee on the other hand is looking for any feedback that will enhance their performance and success.
When you provide feedback to your employees in a meaningful manner, it not only contributes to their overall growth but also helps them align their personal goals with those of the organisation. If your employee receives zero feedback from you, there are high chances that they will feel ignored and the lack of direction can increase the negative results. This can lead to feelings of failure and low motivation. If you point out their weakness to them, albeit in a nice manner, they are likely to engage and improve in those aspects.
Leaders should also never run away from the feedback from subordinates. Their feedback will help the leader become more efficient in the role and help relate to the employees more effectively. Receiving an employee’s feedback will not only contribute to the leaders improvement, but also make each employee feel like their opinions matter, and they are important to the organisation.
Here are some strategies you can adopt to ensure that your feedback is effective for the employees:
- Always ensure that you deliver negative feedback in private, one-on-one. Delivering negative feedback in public can not only cause feelings of humiliation but also spread unnecessary stories across the workplace.Right Timing – Feedback should not run on the annual review cycle nor does it have to be tied to employee appraisals. Whenever you come across a chance to provide an employee with feedback, do it. This ensures that the situation you are talking about in your feedback is fresh on the employee’s mind, and they can act on it with clarity of purpose. Providing regular feedback to an employee provides you with a better connection to the employees and their work. Providing timely and constant feedback assures the employee that you are on their side and seeking the best results for both them and the company. Praise in public and criticize in private! Never berate or talk down to the employee in public. This is a sign of weakness in you as a manager. Lashing out in anger is not providing feedback. In case you feel frustrated with your employees, take some time to calm down, and go and speak them about it rationally and calmly.
- Ample Preparation – The feedback the employees receive is important to them, and you should take it seriously as well. Rehearse your feedback a couple of times in your mind, and if necessary, use diagrams, statistical data, and other visual methods to explain the feedback to your employees. This helps the employee understand the feedback correctly Assists them to develop new approaches if appropriate or to continue with the best practices they have demonstrated.
- Accentuate the positive but don’t try to sugar coat the negatives – You should deliver the feedback in a direct manner to have the greatest an impact. If you try to sugar coat your words and avoid direct input, it is possible that the employee will not make sense of the points or will not take the feedback seriously and take remedial action.. However, this does not mean that you act rudely towards your employees. Be concise, calm, and authentic. The point of all feedback is to help the employee improve and become a more productive member of the team
- Understand how feedback, negative or positive, could affect an employee – A study conducted by Professor Andrew Miner of Minnesota has shown that employees react to a negative feedback 6 times more strongly than they react to a positive message. Speak in a direct manner. Express the negative impact his actions have had on the company and the extent of these consequences. Spend more time on discussing how to move forward and correct the action. In simple terms, spend two to three times discussing the future in a positive and constructive manner. Understanding the problem is only a small part of feedback. Understanding expectations and how to move forward is the critical part of the feedback loop
- Get rid of all biases – As a leader, you must provide authentic and factual feedback to your employees. However, sometimes the quality of feedback you deliver can be affected by your personal bias. Examine your feedback plans to ensure any bias is removed before you start formulating any feedback for a certain employee
Adoption of these strategies should ensure that you deliver your feedback to employees effectively and soundly.