There are multiple things to consider with regards to providing performance feedback. Mainly; how do you give feedback to your employees? Then, on the other side of things, how does an employee provide feedback to their boss? Both of these questions - and more - will be answered as we progress through this post.
What steps are important when giving feedback to an employee?
There are steps involved that you need to take if you want to get your points across and ensure you and your employee are on the same page. Bearing that in mind, here are some main things to think about:
- The time it right: Timing is important when it comes to providing feedback to an employee. Ideally, you should continuously monitor their performance, so you’re able to pick up on things early on. This lets you identify if they’re maybe doing something wrong, and provide constructive feedback before it gets out of hand.
- Be specific: It’s vital that you’re specific when giving both positive/negative feedback. This lets your employees know exactly what they need to improve on, or what they’re doing well. Vague feedback doesn’t really help anyone and can leave employees confused.
- Deliver feedback yourself: There’s nothing worse for an employee than being given feedback from someone that’s not their boss. It shows that you’re a good leader when you take the time to deliver feedback personally. Your employees will be extremely thankful that you’ve gone out of your way to do this, and it can provide them with added motivation.
- Don’t forget to praise them: It’s important for an employee to receive praise when they do a great job. It’s easy for employees to be overloaded with too much negative feedback, and never get praised when they feel they’ve performed well. Don’t let this happen, keep positive feedback in mind too!
- Offer solutions: When someone receives negative feedback, then it can put them in an awkward place. They now know they’re not performing to the standard expected, but they don’t really know what they can do to improve. So, ensure your feedback is constructive by offering solutions to help your employees. Give them ideas that can help them grow, or perhaps even suggest training to help them develop their skills and get better.
What are examples of positive and negative feedback?
Positive and negative feedback are both essential, though they differ considerably. Here are examples of both forms of feedback:
Positive: An employee exceeds the sales targets you set for them, so you call them into your office to have a little chat. You tell them that their performance has been exceptional this week and that they’ve excelled in every department. Inform them that they’ve really made a significant contribution to the company and that you’re thankful for their work. Give them a handshake to make it even more personal, and tell them to keep up the great work.
Negative: An employee has failed to meet the goals you’ve set for the last three weeks, so you call them into your office. Tell them that they’ve not hit the right targets for three weeks in a row and that this needs to change. Talk to them about what might be the reason behind this, until you both figure out the cause. Then, give them advice on how they can address this, and send them on their way with an encouraging smile.
How to give feedback to my boss?
Of course, feedback is a two-way street, and employees shouldn’t be afraid to stand up and give their boss some input too. The question is, how do you do this?
- Give feedback when your boss asks for it, or ask them if they’d like any. Don’t just deliver feedback to them unsolicited with no warning, it can damage your relationship
- Provide your feedback face-to-face as this is the best way to get your message across. It also shows confidence, and your boss will respect that you didn’t just send an email.
- Time your feedback well too, don’t just give it to them in the middle of the day while they’re in their office. Request a meeting with them after work one day and give it to them then - preferably before a weekend so they have time to think about what you’ve said
- Be respectful, and don’t unleash a tirade of negative feedback straight to your bosses face. If you have something negative to say, them make sure you phrase it well and explain why you think it’s a negative thing.
As you can see, there are steps to follow when you’re giving feedback to employees, or when you’re an employee giving feedback. Both positive and negative feedback have roles to play in human development. People need to know that they’re doing a good job, and they also need to understand how they can improve in areas where they’re lacking. Hopefully, this article has helped explain performance feedback in more detail, so you know how to apply it to your organization.