5 Ways To Give Valuable Feedback To Employees

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In today’s world, employee feedback has evolved into ongoing listening strategies that build trust between managers and employees. Regular employee feedback results in significantly higher engagement, with a plethora of attendant benefits. 

Employee feedback is an incredibly powerful tool. If offered properly, it has the ability to: 

  • Grow and develop the people of your organization
  • Improve the levels of trust and communication 
  • Strengthen bonds between employees and managers

But unfortunately, feedback is often ignored or omitted entirely in an effort to avoid discomfort. Here are five best practices to keep in mind when crafting feedback for an employee. 

Avoid giving unsolicited advice

Only a third of people believe the feedback they receive is helpful. That’s because more often than not, it’s unsolicited, which can create an immense amount of stress for the person receiving it.

If your direct report doesn’t ask for feedback directly, be sure to ask them if, when, and how they’d like to receive it.

By doing this, you can give control to your employee and increase the likelihood that they will act on the feedback you share. Empower your people to control the feedback agenda by helping them feel confident and comfortable enough to ask for it.

Express appreciation for employee performance

When an employee succeeds, they should hear about it. Express your recognition of the right behaviors and celebrate positive results. If possible, be specific about skills, achievements, and business outcomes.

Employee success often goes unrecognized as managers can be complacent and forget to call out positive performance. However, showing appreciation reinforces the right behaviors, makes employees feel valued and motivated and is directly linked to increased employee engagement.

Ditch the “sandwich approach”

Once a popular technique to cushion the blow of delivering negative feedback, the sandwich approach has now fallen out of favor. This technique, slipping a criticism in between two compliments has been recognized for its faults. 

For starters, employees see right through it. When served as a way to make it easier to digest negative feedback, praise is diluted. Second, delaying the inevitable evokes anxiety.

Explain the “why” behind your employee feedback

If your employees aren’t performing as expected, show them what you expect and explain why. 

Instead of focusing on what they did wrong, show them what should have been done. If you have documented policies or procedures, share these with your employees to help clarify your expectations. 

Explain why things need to be done a certain way so they understand the importance of following a procedure.

Keep it private

Don’t criticize publicly. 

For some, even praise is better delivered in a private meeting. Some people simply don’t like being the center of attention. You can also consider offering employee feedback in the form of a written response. This can give you time to reflect and offer a more thoughtful answer.

Feedback isn’t just uncomfortable for the receiver, it can be uncomfortable for the giver as well. By moving the location to a more informal area, you can help to alleviate some of the underlying pressure.

Closing thoughts 

Giving feedback is hard. No one likes being the bad guy in the conversation, but you don’t have to be. It gets easier when you don’t leave your employees to figure out mistakes on their own.

However, with positive reinforcement and the above-mentioned suggestions, you can experience better results in your organization over time. 

Also read: How Technology Has Changed Modern Workplace Communication?

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