Tips for Effective Feedback

Being stuck in limbo is never fun especially if it’s at work.  Everyone deserves feedback on the work they have been doing, for employees and coworkers.  Whether it’s constructive criticism or praise, the goal is to illicit positive behavior by providing useful information.  Giving Feedback should be an almost daily thing, it should not be delayed.  Giving and receiving reviews allows everyone a chance to learn and grow from what they have been doing.

Don’t Delay

Why wait to tell people how they are doing?  It makes more sense to immediately give feedback!  If there is an issue the you should address it while it’s fresh and still pertinent.  If you wait 2 months then the value and impact are likely to diminish significantly.  They could keep handling aspects of their job incorrectly without being cognizant of committing an error. In turn, this is reinforcing such a habit.  Same goes for positive feedback.  Tell people when they do a good job and make them value their work. Too often, we aim to catch others doing wrong instead of catching them doing right. If someone is working their butt off, but never receives recognition then they might think they are doing something wrong.  This would make them change what they are doing and hinder potential performance.  Not only that but without any reviews your employees or coworkers will lose their motive to work as hard as they do and may be left wondering where they stand.

Your Words Matter

Think carefully of what you say.  You need to make sure you are wording your feedback so it doesn’t sound accusing.  Sweeping generalizations can seem like you are jumping to conclusions and make the other person feel like you are targeting them.  If you do have negative situations you need to discuss, try to make it seem less subjective.  The way you word your input also needs to avoid bringing the employee’s or coworker’s intelligence to question.  People always lash back if they think someone is acting like they are stupid.  You might not mean for them to feel like that, but your words matter.  

Balance

Make sure to balance the positive and the negative conversation points.  Give more positive remarks then the person might think they don’t have to improve or change anything.  Give more negative reviews then they will think everything they do is wrong and feel like their work is worthless.  You need to give people enough negative remarks to help them grow and let them know what needs improved while at the same time giving them enough positive feedback to show them that their hard work is worth it and they are appreciated.

Facts Not Feelings

Keep things business, not personal.  You should address any problems within situations rather than sharing your frustrations.  Just because you might have some personal frustrations with your employee or coworker does not mean they are bad at their job.  Remember not to bring personal issues to work, you need to keep your mind on being professional.  This could also be aimed at people playing favorites.  Certain people should not get better feedback than others just because you like them more.  This is where balancing the positive and negatives can come in handy, everyone will have objective feedback.

Ask Yourself

Is this feedback useful?  This is one of the most important things you should ask yourself!  What’s the point of giving people suggestions if it isn’t useful?  Feedback is very important and so don’t waste the opportunity to help someone grow.  Just think of ways to word your positive and negative input so that your employee or coworker can take those remarks and use them.  Another way to gauge your feedback is if it will help bring about future positive behaviors.  Your suggestions should help not only your employee or coworker grow, but also your business.

Don’t forget to consistently give feedback to others.  This will always be helpful as long as you keep a balance of the positive and negative remarks and give them in a timely manner rather than delaying it.  Use your feedback to give useful information.  It may seem like a small part of business but it is more crucial than you might think.