Employees of an organization greatly rely on the feedback of their superiors and employers to check the quality of their performance and their productivity. When provided the right way, feedback can be used constructively to pave the way for better productivity at the workplace, promoting an environment of growth mindset and an improvement-centric approach to working. However, providing feedback is a process which is overlooked to avoid uncomfortable conversations. One of the traits of an excellent mentor or employer is that they take the time to course correct their apprentices and employees to sharpen their skill set and professionalism in various aspects. When approached in a proper way this can be a great way to improve employee performance using feedback.
- Create a clear-cut communication while providing feedback: Having an honest conversation about employee feedback can be a tightrope. In such an instance where your words and context matter a great deal, evaluating what you need to say to the employee to help them do a better job is necessary. To establish a clear-cut communication, separating your emotions of frustration when an employee is not doing well at work is also an important step as well. Write down points to touch base with so you don’t miss out on anything while keeping your tone that of a mentor. Be as concise as possible while providing all the necessary information or observation with as much transparency as possible.
- Make employee performance appraisal regular: Rather than waiting for quarterly reviews to provide a rushed feedback, it would be easier and more useful to regularly appraise your employee between closer intervals. This will help you keep track of their performance, while helping them constantly improve based on ongoing projects rather than receiving retrospective criticism.
- Avoid giving unsolicited advice: Feedback can become a slippery slope when unsolicited advice regarding their personal problems, mental health, or things that they can individually handle as professionals is brought into the picture. Oftentimes, there is a boundary that is crossed when one provides advice that was not asked for, since we do not always understand the situation of the other party well. If you feel the urge to provide any advice, it is best that you ask the employee whether they are open to it and then proceed.
- Empathy is key: Empathy is one of the most essential soft skills that an employer or a managerial team can possess, as it facilitates better understanding while establishing a bond with the employees. Coming from an empathetic mindset will help you bring humanness in an extremely competitive world, thereby helping you treat the staff better while course correction. As we all know, 2020 is a year where everyone is constantly facing numerous challenges while trying their best. Understanding the circumstances of your underperforming employee can lead to conflict resolution by devising innovative ways to meet them halfway in dialogue and functionality.
- Provide a safe space with confidentiality: Employee feedback is a process that needs to be conducted in private. This will maintain a sense of trust and establish confidentiality between you and the employee. Creating a safe space where the staff sees individually and collectively seen without being embarrassed for slip-ups in public is the trait of a remarkable management and HR team.
- Make it a two-way conversation and ensure followup: Feedback needs to be a two-way conversation, so make sure that you ask your employee if there is anything you can do to facilitate better productivity from them. Oftentimes this is the most overlooked factor, as employee feedback is simply given without realising that there could be something you could do to help them improve their performance. After providing your feedback, ensure that you follow-up on the process to check whether they have made the adjustments necessary with your help and guidance and course correct further if needed,
Now that you have been introduced with the process of active feedback and how to go about it, where do you think will you commence this practice? Starting with bi-weekly evaluations if you have a small organization or having the team managers provide constructive feedback or appreciation depending upon the ongoing performance of the respective employees will help. Various teams and departments, too, will function better if collective feedback with goal setting is provided to keep all members aligned in their approach. To summarize, employee performance using feedback can be improved upon at all the stages of employment and at all levels of hierarchy. To understand how to hire better and to manage employee policies positively, visit our hirer blog
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