Changing the Way We Give Feedback to Improve Employee Performance

Changing the Way We Give Feedback to Improve Employee Performance

What are employees’ feelings about performance reviews? Demoralizing, while actually not having much of an effect on performance. This is because they’re often held at the end of the year when tasks and projects have likely been long forgotten and led by people who aren’t well versed in the delicate art of giving constructive feedback.

Here, we’ll be focusing on one way that managers can quickly affect change in their employees’ performance: improving feedback methods.

  1. Using feedback as an empowerment tool, not as a punishment method
  • It can be severely demoralizing to be made aware of your non-performance. However, managers do need to give critical feedback if necessary because, at the end of the day, they need to improve performance.
  • Encourage your employees to be more receptive to feedback by establishing a mindset of feedback sessions as an opportunity to learn.
  • This means being specific, addressing where the employee excelled and where they need improvement, so they can implement this feedback in their next projects.
  • It also requires feedback to be frequent so employees and managers remember the specific areas of the work process that can be improved upon.

2. Feedback should have an element of being a two-way discussion

  • From an employee’s perspective, Feedback can be hard to accept, especially if it’s critical. From a manager’s perspective, it can be hard to actually deliver the feedback when you’re worried about demoralizing and subsequently hurting the employee’s productivity
  • As highlighted by Joe Hirsch in his HBR article ‘Good Feedback is a Two-Way Conversation’ instead of directly telling employees about their performance, we should instead hold a mirror up to their performance, and give employees ownership over their performance and let them take charge of how they can improve
  • Of course, it’s not all on employees. Managers still play an important role through being able to ask the right questions to get employees to identify their wins as well as the challenges they faced, to guide their actions moving forward.

We hope that you’ll implement these aspects of giving feedback in your next feedback sessions, so your employees will walk out of these sessions motivated and armed with ideas on how they’ll specifically be able to improve performance.

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