Providing timely feedback to your employees is essential in order to help your team develop and reach their full potential. Without feedback, it’s unrealistic to expect growth—at least not in the areas you’d like to see it. The vast majority of people, your employees included, are simply not self-aware enough to be able to identify their own mistakes and shortcomings. Your job is to point out the areas that need improvement—and to encourage, motivate, and guide each employee as they work to be the best they can be. Below are five keys to keep in mind:
1. Keep it brief. There’s no reason to drag this conversation on longer than it has to be. Don’t hit your employee on the head over and over again… make your point, make sure he/she understands, and get on with your day.
2. Keep it positive. Even as you are addressing a problem with your employee’s performance, keep the tone positive. Explain that the employee is valuable to the organization, that he/she has lots of potential, and so on. Otherwise, your employee may walk away discouraged.
3. Keep it clear. Don’t beat around the bush, and don’t muddy the waters by rambling on and on. Focus on the behavior that needs to change. Explain how it needs to change, why it needs to change, and on what the appropriate behavior looks like. Don’t over-complicate things!
4. Keep it private. Never, ever deliver negative feedback in public. Even if it doesn’t seem like a “big deal” to you, the experience of being negatively singled out in front of co-workers or customers can be extremely damaging to an employee. In addition, it’s bad for the morale of your entire team—and it weakens their trust in you. Your team can’t be expected to innovate and take chances if they are worried about public humiliation.
5. Follow up. This is where many business owners drop the ball. The feedback session isn’t the end—it’s the start of a process. Closely monitor your employee’s performance. If they are doing a good job of addressing the issue that you raised, commend them for it! If not, let them know that their progress needs to speed up—and be sure they have the tools and the knowledge they need.
Delivering effective feedback is essential in order to bring out the best in your team. Contact me today if you’d like to learn more!