Employee feedback is the heart of professional and personal development and growth. Through effective feedback, any employee can become better at what they do. Moreover, even if they may not say so, they actually crave feedback.
Unfortunately, there are many managers who do not provide feedback. Many others use negative feedback, or they are too vague when discussing the employees’ work and performance.
Any employee needs to get their work evaluated. Professionally and personally, they need to know how they are doing, what they are appreciated for, and what needs to be improved in their work. The lack of any feedback, or feedback that is too vague, can have very negative effects on an employee’s performance.
When an individual does not get feedback, he or she makes various assumptions that may not always be correct. For example, no feedback could mean that everything is in order. When an employee believes that his or her performance is good, he or she will never try to improve. Why change something that works?
This translates into mediocrity, and later on, routine and moral dumbfounding. An employee who never receives any feedback and who believes that there is nothing to improve in his or her work may get bored and even leave for a new and more exciting job.
No feedback may also lead employees to believe that they are not doing that great, but the manager does not think he or she could take negative feedback too well. This leads to constant fear and stress. No feedback can also lead employees into thinking that their work is never appreciated and no matter how hard they try, the manager never notices their involvement.
A lot of frustration can be generated from this belief. Moreover, there are also managers who praise only certain employees. Again, frustration, stress, and negative vibes will start arising in the team. The truth is that a manager who does not provide feedback to his or her employees is not a good leader.
In order to have a strong team, everyone needs to understand the general purpose of the business or project, his or her role, and what he or she can improve in order to make things work and make the team perform great so that everyone can benefit from its success.
Feedback vs. effective feedback
It is very important to make a clear difference between feedback and effective feedback. In other words, providing feedback that is too vague or negative, may also have detrimental effects on an employee’s performance.
For example, a feedback session should never focus on the bad. Bringing out only what an individual lacks or does not do good will have him or her believing that he or she is not good enough and nothing done well will be noticed. This type of feedback brings people down, it makes them reluctant to even try harder, and it puts tremendous pressure on them.
Furthermore, a feedback session must never be too vague. Telling someone that he or she is doing a good job, does not really tell anything. What is that person good at? What is most appreciated? Is really everything good, or only certain parts?
Are the bad parts not so serious or noticeable? These are all questions that can normally come to an employee’s mind. Moreover, these thoughts can take the focus away from the work that needs to be done.
Delivering effective feedback
There are many ways in which effective feedback can be delivered. First of all, any feedback session needs to be held privately, in a separate room, if possible. As a manager delivering feedback, you should never start with the negative parts. Also, you should do a short follow-up of the previous feedback.
Always begin with the positive. Even though there are many strategies and techniques used for delivering feedback, there is no certain method you must use. It all depends on your relationship with your employees, the way you are doing things within the team, and what you and your employees feel most comfortable discussing.
It is very important to pinpoint the positive things, but also the negative ones. Studies have revealed that you should not refer to these as points that do not work so well, but points that need improvement.
Another essential thing is for the employee to understand the importance of every aspect that is being discussed, its implications in the work process, and the positive and negative consequences of each point.
Another thing you should keep in mind is that you should never do all the talking. Actually, you should be talking only about 30% of the entire feedback session. It is important to let the employee talk and manage to find solutions on his or her own.
Regular employee feedback brings you closer to your team, shows employees how they are doing, and makes them more motivated to improve and bring their contribution to the team. What is more, if you want things to go very well, you should also offer your employees the possibility to provide their feedback.
Employee surveys are very popular in many companies. These let the manager know how he or she is viewed by the staff and, of course, what can be improved on the manager’s side as well. Feedback is important in many fields, not just when it comes to employees.
For example, customer feedback can help manufacturers create better products, and provide possible other buyers with valuable information regarding the product they are interested in. On youngchoppers.com, for instance, you can find numerous product reviews, and find out a lot of details about various products, straight from customers who are already using them.