Effective feedback is a critical component of a successful performance management program and should be used hand in hand with setting performance goals. If effective feedback is given to employees on their progress towards their goals, employee performance will improve.
Here at ProSky, we value evaluations and feedback. We believe that it is crucial to creating a strong company culture and having a successful business. You can use ProSky Pathways to create highly customizable yet interactive evaluation challenges and projects for both candidates and employees. Our software allows you to set goals and KPIs for your employees, then check on your employee's progress and give continuous feedback.It can sometimes be difficult to give and receive feedback, but doing so will allow your employees to not only work as one but help your company succeed! We want to give you a few tips to consider when creating a healthy environment for evaluation and feedback:
Know the Purpose of Your Feedback
Before giving any of your employee's feedback, you may want to consider asking yourself these questions:
1. What is my purpose in giving this feedback?
2. Will this feedback help my employee?
3. Will this feedback help the company be more successful?
Prepare to praise their good work but do not be afraid of giving constructive criticism. A good employee will be open to feedback because they will want to improve. Just make sure you are always thinking about the purpose of your feedback.
Lead with Questions
Starting off your feedback with a few questions can help the other person feel like an equal part in the conversation as you discuss the challenge together. Whenever it is possible you can ask permission to give feedback. You can say something like “I would like to give you some feedback about the project/presentation, is that ok?”.
The goal for evaluations should be to help employers and employees gain insight. One way to achieve this is to ask the employee their ideal work environment. Or you ask questions about solutions or the future. When asking questions, Martin Luenendonk, the Co-Founder & CEO of Cleverism recommends:
Ask questions regarding that situation, like, “What exactly was the situation when you had taken those steps?” Such questions intrinsically make up their mind towards the matter you wanted to discuss.
Listen entirely before you start giving your feedback. Ask such questions that allow for self evaluation and automatically drag the situation to improve like "What could be a better solution for the next time?".
Asking questions will help the employee feel more comfortable talking about their ideas which can in return lead to great feedback for the company.
Be Specific and Clear
Employee feedback should be task-focused, crystal clear, and to the point. The more general you are the more unclear your employees will be. They will not be able to improve and your expectations will not be met. In order to give feedback that matters, you want to first be clear with goals and expectations. That way when you give feedback, your employees will know exactly what was expected of them.When giving feedback, restrain from comments like “I wasn't impressed with your presentation, you will have to do better next time” or “You need to improve”. These vague comments will not help anyone. Instead, you should leave comments like “Your presentation was disorganized, I would love to see bullet points rather than a paragraph of words” or “instead of 2 solutions, I want you to come up with 10”.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to keep secret of what you want or test your employees to see if they can guess what you are thinking. Let them know exactly what you are expecting, that way when it’s time to evaluate your employees, everyone will be on the same page.
Do It in a Timely Manner
Feedback can come in many different forms. While there usually is an annual performance review, you don’t have to wait for the scheduled review to give feedback. If and when your employees do something worth praiseworthy make sure to let them know right away!
Likewise, if their work is not up to the quality standard or they are not meeting your expectations, then don’t wait too long to give corrective feedback and support. Keisha Stoute, Founder & CEO of Stoute Communications shares her experience:
The best way that I have found to give negative feedback to employees to not to wait until the annual review. Constructive feedback should be given on an ongoing bases, giving employees opportunities to make improvements throughout the year. In an effort to maintain healthy working relationships, managers should address the behavior when it is observed or soon after.
Employees want to know how their work is being valued or how they can improve. Feedback is most effective when it is delivered when the event or issue is fresh in the employer and the employee's memory. Also, be aware of when negative emotions are running high. It is often best to allow yourself or the employee some time to cool off before having a feedback session.
Feedback should be given in a manner that will best help improve performance. People respond better to information that is presented in a positive way. In order to have a productive feedback session, you should express positivity and not tear the employee down.
This is not to say that information should be sugar-coated. It must be accurate, factual, and complete. When presented, however, feedback is more effective when it reinforces what the employee did right and then identifies what needs to be done in the future. Shayna Pond of Model Teaching recommends the following process:
First, improvement feedback should always be accompanied by positive feedback where you give narrowly focused praise on a specific area of work. Give specific evidence for what you saw that made you draw that conclusion; and explain how that positive evidence you saw is beneficial to the work they are doing.
Then, improvement feedback should always describe clear and tangible strategies that the employee can work on aligned to one very narrow and specific area and nothing more. Give evidence for what you are seeing that is clear and objective, and provide a rationale for why it’s important for the employee to improve upon that area.
Finally, give a resources, support, or tasks the employee can utilize to help him or herself improve. Follow up on progress and offer additional support, more resources, or other guidance.
When correction needs to be made, approach it together with the employee as a team, and give constructive advice or suggestions for improvement. Your role as a leader is to ensure they get the resources they need to improve and hit their full potential.
Employee Feedback Goes Both Ways
Employee feedback is an important aspect of creating a positive work environment. In order to succeed, employees need to feel valued and know that they have a voice within the company. It can be tough to be evaluated but give your employees opportunities to speak up in meetings or one on one with you. One way to do this is to simply ask if there are any suggestions or if anyone has feedback. It’s also important to allow your employees to tell you what is working or not working for them when giving them evaluations. Employees often have the chance to see issues with day to day operations that you may have overlooked. Honest employee feedback is crucial for the success of the business. Matthew Ross, Co-Founder & COO at The Slumber Yard had this to say:
We try to make the meetings somewhat informal so the employee feels comfortable to speak up and voice any concerns. By doing this, we're hoping employees speak up to improve certain processes. In fact, this actually happened last year. An employee, who received negative feedback about his research ability, felt comfortable enough to speak up and propose a new method to collect and analyze data.
Always have a listening ear. Be sincere when listening to the concerns of your employees, let them know you care. Ask them for solutions to problems that arise and don’t get offended when they let you know something is not working. When you are open to feedback, your work environment will improve and your business will be more successful.
If you incorporate an effective feedback culture in your work environment, team performance will improve, your employees will feel valued, and their work will have a purpose. All of which will make your organization more effective.
Here are some simple Do’s and Don’ts to follow as you prepare for successful feedback:
Set clear expectations
Meet with your employees in a timely manner.
Compliment efforts of your employees
Ask for solutions to problems.
Follow up with employees after they’ve shared with you their concerns.
Ignore suggestions. Take all employee feedback and suggestions.
Wait for formal reviews to give feedback. Let employees know how they’re doing on a regular basis.
Take offense when employees give feedback.
Don’t give negative feedback in front of other employees. It does not create a positive work environment.
Use performance reviews as a way to put down employees. Make reviews a positive experience.
By having an evaluation culture in your work environment you can be proud to know that you are prioritizing what matters most for your company because your people are your organization's greatest assets. To help you gather employee feedback and initiate effective performance reviews, schedule a time to talk with one of ProSky's specialists: