Employee feedback serves multiple purposes and is essential for an individual’s long-term growth and development. It can also have a positive impact on your business. It is often the key to higher employee engagement and lower turnover.
In fact, an infographic on HubSpot states that “43 percent of highly engaged employees receive feedback at least once a week — and companies that implement regular employee feedback report a 14.9 percent lower turnover rate.” In order for this to be effective, you must know how to give valuable feedback to employees.
You could make the argument that feedback is time-sensitive, with a finite period where your input remains potent. Because memory fades as time passes, your feedback will only have a minimal effect if you wait an extended period of time to share it. Waiting too long (e.g. annual performance reviews) is one of the most common mistakes that managers make and is unlikely to bring about any legitimate changes.
On the other hand, providing feedback in a timely manner while a situation is still fresh in everyone’s mind is likely to have a much bigger impact. The sooner you have the discussion, the better — and the easier the whole process should be.
Present the Facts
Another mistake that’s often made is allowing emotions and assumptions to take over until subjectivity reigns over objectivity. Instead, it’s better to simply stick to the facts and explain how an employee’s poor performance negatively affected operations. Try to take the emotion out of it and allow logic to prevail.
Give Specific Performance Expectations
In order for an employee to make progress and avoid repeating the same mistakes, they need to have a clear idea of what’s expected of them going forth. Ambiguous statements like,”I want you to be more productive,” won’t suffice. Instead, you want to set specific expectations and say something like, “I want you to hit a daily sales quota of (x) number of products.”
Never Tear an Employee Down
Although you want to be firm, you never want to make an employee feel threatened or put them down. Being mean-spirited can hurt their confidence and put a damper on workplace morale. It can also put an employee on the defense where they’re less likely to retain the feedback you give them.
When you weave in some positivity to offset the negative feedback, employees should become more receptive and responsive. Information found on Entrepreneur looks at this phenomenon from a scientific perspective and reports that “Positive feedback stimulates the reward centers in the brain, leaving the recipient open to taking new direction.”
This isn’t to say that you should be overly soft and paranoid of hurting peoples’ feelings. It just means that it’s best to strike a balance between positive and negative feedback.
A 2014 survey from the Society for Human Resource Management states that “35 percent of HR professionals grade the effectiveness of their organization’s performance management a C or worse and only 2 percent give their company an A.” There’s obviously room for improvement in this area. Implement the right techniques to ensure that you give valuable feedback to your employees and put them in a better position to succeed.