Constructive feedback in the workplace is not just beneficial; it is absolutely necessary. When team leaders share feedback on what went wrong and how it can be improved, this provides an excellent opportunity for the team members to develop and polish their skills. Sharing positive feedback boosts motivation in the employees. For both these reasons, managers and leaders need to know how to deliver actionable feedback to polish their teams.
The Benefits of Sharing Feedback
Sharing feedback in the workplace, regardless of whether it is negative or positive, is highly beneficial. However, it must be communicated effectively. Here are some of the benefits of sharing different kinds of feedback:
It improves performance
When constructive feedback is shared, it assists employees in identifying areas that have room for improvement. Also, they improve when they get the message that their efforts are recognized and valued. Both of these factors lead to better performance.
It boosts motivation and confidence
Receiving positive feedback makes your employees feel appreciated. This helps increase their motivation, which is great for creating a positive work environment. They also become more confident in their work and feel happier to come to work.
It helps employees learn
Many employees fail to establish the habit of learning new things due to falling into a monotonous cycle of repetitive work routines. Sharing constructive feedback helps to break this cycle and inspire continuous learning so that they can focus on areas that need improvement and learn new skills.
It helps employees grow personally
Receiving positive and negative feedback highlights the strengths and weaknesses of your employees. This enables them to become more self-aware and utilize opportunities for personal development, leading to personal growth.
It improves work relationships
When your employees feel that you are observing their actions, it is more likely that they will approach you if they need guidance. They will start valuing your feedback, and if you are not satisfied with their performance, they will strive to make it better through hard work so that they can receive positive feedback from you.
How To Give Feedback Effectively
Most managers are aware of the importance of feedback, but may not know how to deliver it effectively. You need to provide your feedback in a manner that is clear, concise, and meaningful so that it can be useful. Many managers and team leaders may find giving feedback a difficult task. They might not have a problem with identifying that a process or behavior is not fruitful, but the challenge comes when they have to convert that observation into a helpful, constructive and actionable piece of advice.
Nevertheless, it is essential that you offer regular feedback because it is among the most crucial aspects of team building. If you take feedback out of the equation, there will be no mechanism in place to identify where improvements are required and how to carry them out to create changes that are needed.
Providing helpful, actionable feedback might be challenging, but with the following techniques, you can deliver it effectively.
The quality of your feedback
Helpful, actionable feedback has the following qualities: it is delivered at the right time, highly relevant to the problem/situation/task, and is very applicable and specific. Many times, the feedback shared is either irrelevant, timed inappropriately or too general to be helpful in a particular situation, which makes it useless. When you share feedback with your teammates, make sure that it meets all these criteria so that it proves to be helpful.
The tone of your feedback
The tricky part about giving feedback is that it is easy for people to misinterpret it by misunderstanding the intention. If you don’t watch your tone, you may come across as insulting or demeaning, even when you are attempting to communicate constructive feedback.
For this reason, it is crucial that you craft your feedback in a way that is constructive and positive. Deliver it in a manner that it offers people valuable advice instead of belittling them. One way to ensure this to put yourself in the shoes of others. Think of how you would feel if you were at the receiving end of your feedback. Would you perceive your feedback as helpful advice or a complaint or personal insult? If it seems like the latter, tone your feedback down. While the content is essential, don’t underestimate the effect of the right word choice, tone and phrasing. Of course, non-verbal cues in your body language also matter. Fix all of them to ensure that the recipient won’t misinterpret the feedback.
The consistency of your feedback
Inconsistent feedback leaves your employees feeling lost and gives the impression that their boss doesn’t care about or listen to them. If you want to ensure that your feedback is useful, ensure that it is consistent.
Your feedback should not only be specific, timely and relevant, as mentioned before but should also communicate the same message regardless of when or how you share it. Inconsistent or contradictory feedback, especially by different individuals, can create confusion that makes it difficult for the person to know how to improve. It is mandatory that you ensure that all the team members are working towards the same goals. This can be done by sticking to the same message in your feedbacks.
Effective feedback that is delivered properly is an essential element in the development of employees, and in aligning their growth with the broader business goals of the organization. Feedback highlights areas for improvements and encourages positive behaviors. A survey by Gallup reports that if workers receive little to no feedback, four out of ten of them end up being actively disengaged. This is why managers must incorporate ongoing feedback into their routines. Despite that, a poll by Interact reported that as many as 37% of managers say that they are uncomfortable with giving feedback to their team members. As a result, feedback may not be shared, and this becomes a missed opportunity for both the company and the employee.
Giving feedback is beneficial for both the employee and the company. So, make sure that you make good use of an opportunity to highlight an area for growth or appreciate a task well done next time you come across it. This will lead to more motivated and engaged employees and a boost in the overall performance of your organization.
Some courses that may help you develop your skills in this area include.
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