The Art Of Giving Performance Feedback

24 September 2015

The Art Of Giving Performance Feedback

One of the most critical errors that business leaders and managers encounter is they withhold feedback or they don’t say anything when they initially see problems. Most leaders only intervene when an issue has persisted for a long time or when they’ve come to the point of having to let go of the person. Research shows that only six percent of leaders offer feedback right at the moment when a performance issue is observed. Here are tips you can do to master the art of giving performance feedback:

1. Identify The Best Way To Deliver Feedback

Different people have different ways of receiving feedback. Some prefer receiving feedback in writing so they can think process and reflect on what’s communicated to them before they can take steps toward making the necessary improvements. Some people prefer to receive feedback in person so they can have real-time discussion. When you’re working with your staff, different methods of delivering feedback may be effective to them. You can boost their morale by communicating that you care about each of them enough to recognise their personal working styles.

2. Document Every Feedback Session In Writing

For people who prefer to receive feedback face-to-face, follow it up with a written email or letter of what has been discussed. This is to ensure that each feedback given is received in the correct context. It will also be efficient for you to have a record of the things you need your staff member to improve on.

3. Set The Context Of Your Feedback

You must make sure that your expectations for your staff’s performance is perfectly clear.  You cannot expect them to perform when they have vague descriptions. When giving feedback, make sure you set the specific context for the feedback by relating it to the expectations you have for each team member. When they receive the feedback, they should be able to understand why the feedback is constructive.

4. Create Opportunities To identify And Fix Problems

You can formulate systems where you can gather information about problems that your staff may have in the organisation. When you have a system for this, you can identify overall issues that do not necessarily need to single out specific people in the process. It will help employee moral to create opportunities to fix larger issues so that there will be less issues to address on the individual level.

5. Provide Detailed Feedback

While it takes time to give thorough feedback, it will be worth it. You need to be on the same page with people. People will not change if they don’t know something needs to be changed.  When you enumerate the positive and the negative issues about a person’s performance, you’ll come to a point of understanding as to what needs to be changed or improved on.

6. Reframe Negative Feedback In The Form Of A Question

You just can’t tell people flat out that they’re not cutting it. Instead, ask them to perform a positive action. What you can do is ask yourself what impact does this negative behavior or issue can do for the company’s performance? What do you want to change? How can a change impact the company? Once you do this, the receive of the feedback can understand the reason behind the request to change.

7. Give Immediate Feedback

You don’t always have to wait for a formal occasion to give your feedback. Performance reviews are usually scheduled. However, once you notice a negative behavior or a problematic issue, you can give immediate feedback, even in an informal setting, such as a break room or in the elevator, or over lunch. If handled correctly, these feedback may be enough to resolve an issue to prevent a problem.

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