When Giving Feedback, Consider These 4 Things

Joe Weinlick
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Providing helpful feedback can encourage workers to improve their job performance. However, giving feedback may also present a challenge to managers, since it might cause a negative reaction from workers. Remember these four things if you want your feedback to be well-received by employees.

1. Proper Mindset

Before giving feedback, recognize your intent. Is your intent to help the worker improve his performance, or are you trying to have more control over a situation? Would your feedback encourage the employee or make him defensive? Know the exact motivation behind your feedback. If your feedback isn't helpful, constructive or necessary, rethink providing the feedback altogether.

Positive and constructive feedback lends to better employee morale, so always use tact when giving feedback. Take a positive attitude into your meeting, talk to the person in confidence rather than in a group setting, and back up your words with facts or specific examples related to the worker's performance.

2. Asking First

If there's something you need to address right away, ask the worker if he's open to receiving feedback instead of simply blurting out orders or critiques. Asking someone if they are open to feedback shows you respect them. You also want to make sure the worker is receptive when you're giving feedback. Getting permission before talking to the worker makes the feedback seem far less judgmental and more like a conversation.

3. Communicate in a Pleasant Manner

Clear communication is a must when giving feedback. Focus on a few key areas of the employee's performance rather than moving from one topic to the next in quick succession. Give relevant, constructive feedback to your employees using a helpful, positive tone, and give the worker a chance to respond to your feedback. Let the employee know that he has a chance to improve his performance and that you look forward to your continuous working relationship.

4. Relationships with Individuals

Your relationship with your employee might impact how he receives your feedback. Your best friend at work, whom you've known five years, may take blunt feedback better because he understands your mentality better than someone you just hired three weeks ago. Remember, not everyone on your team receives feedback with the same mindset. Some people may like blunt feedback as a motivational tool, while others would prefer a more sensitive approach. Someone who had a disagreement with you in the past may not take your feedback to heart as well as someone with whom you have a more positive relationship. It's best to adjust your delivery, depending on the person receiving the feedback.

These four things can help you remain positive and yield better results when giving feedback to employees. This is especially crucial if the feedback focuses on negative aspects of the employee's performance. What are your tips for giving valuable feedback to employees?

Photo courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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