Giving Feedback is an important part of Performance Management (and Performance Planning) and is a critical step when creating a work environment where people are enabled to perform to the very best of their abilities.
All Performance Management systems in business (no matter the type) are made up of just 4 basic stages:
1. Setting clear goals or targets
2. Performing the work
3. Reviewing how the work went against goals or targets
4. Setting new goals or targets
A solid process of goal setting, review and reliable feedback lets employees know how they are doing and helps them be accountable.
The problem I see in many workplaces is that feedback is seen as something you give once or twice per year, usually in more formal appraisal settings. Feedback needs to become part of your organisation’s landscape and something you and other leaders in your business are skilful at providing.
Giving Feedback Teaches, Motivates and Facilitates Change. It Improves Performance.
Giving Feedback helps employees know where they stand and keeps them on track. Reliable feedback from someone they know gives employees their best chance to learn, improve and deliver expected (or greater than expected) results.
The purpose of feedback is to help the person to whom it is directed. In order to do this effectively, it should be given in such a way that the person understands it, accepts it, and can do something about it.
Providing reliable and effective feedback is a genuine skill requiring both expertise and sensitivity. Giving and receiving feedback is an emotional experience and it is for this reason that many people avoid it or don’t do it well. The simplest way to get better at Giving Feedback is to learn how and then practice it. The more it is practised, the greater the results for both parties!
How to Make Giving Feedback Easier for Everyone Involved?
You can start building this skill by re-framing the way you think about feedback. Many managers struggle giving negative feedback, generally because of the thoughts and emotions associated with giving it. This is normal and very human but there is a better way.
People tend to be more willing to accept feedback when:
- The person offering the feedback is reliable and has good intentions toward them.
- The feedback development process is fair. Use factual/behavioural examples.
- The feedback communication process is fair. Pay careful attention to the other person’s ideas, listen; ask for their input and show respect for them; and support them despite their disagreements or defensiveness.
- They understand the consequences or impact of their actions on productivity and other team members. Sometimes people have no awareness of the impact of their actions.
- There is a solution and they can have some input into it.
Most importantly: MAKE SKILFUL FEEDBACK PART OF YOUR ORGANISATIONAL LANDSCAPE. This means giving feedback at least every 7 days. Not monthly. Not quarterly. And most definitely not annually.
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