Feedback both positive and negative is extremely useful. Effective feedback when given at the right time allows people to improve their future behavior and actions. What makes feedback effective? We have listed the 7 key elements of highly effective feedback.
People hate feedback conversations that happen just once a year. Your employee is anxious, doesn’t know what to expect and curious about your feedback. Such an intimidating meeting results in less constructive outcomes. Annual/Semi-annual feedback conversation doesn’t give anyone the opportunity to change course.
An effective manager doesn’t wait for the year end conversation. Feedback should be continuous, thus allowing employees to use feedback effectively to improve their performance in real time. Quick 1-on-1 connects post important deliverables/business events can be a good way to reflect on the learnings of the team member and the way forward. In fact, feedback doesn’t always have to be through formal meetings, it can also be delivered quickly and effectively over informal coffee and lunches. It’s up to you to create the opportunity for discussion.
Effective feedback helps employees grow and deliver better performance. Feedback is not a list of complaints meant to attacks employees. Make sure you help the employee understand your expectations from them and show the willingness to walk with them on this path. Employees who believe that their leaders are invested in them are far more receptive to feedback and are more willing to make changes to improve performance .
Give praise and constructive feedback for specific instances. Generalizing feedback gives the impression that its non-genuine. Giving feedback by quoting specific events, signals the employees that you understand their actions.
Don’t stop at “You did well” or “You could have done better”. You need to go into the “Why” of things. Why did you like their performance? What could they have done better? Add examples from previous business incidents to illustrate your point better.
One-way speeches have detrimental effect on manager-team member relationship. It is extremely important to engage in a dialogue to understand a team member’s point of view. Be sure to ask clarifying questions to remove any ambiguity. Avoid sweeping statements like “You never perform”, “ You are always late”.
Employees have expectations from their leaders. Let feedback sessions be a 2 way street, always ask for feedback on your support. Ask questions like – How can I be a more effective leader? What more can I do to help you perform at your best?
Last but not the least, feedback that is not honest is useless. A lot of managers avoid confrontation and sugar coat feedback often avoiding areas where they would like to see changes in team members. This makes employees oblivious to the shortcomings in their performance and robs them of the opportunity to improve. At the same time managers are unable to receive honest feedback on the roadblocks to team performance. Make sure you create a culture in your team which is open to giving and receiving honest feedback.
Now that you understand the key elements of effective feedback, start giving feedback using Mark Murphy’s six step IDEALS process.