Feedback is a powerful tool that can motivate your employees to do their best during the workday. When done correctly, it can grow and develop your employees, improve trust and communication levels, and strengthen the bonds between your employees and their managers. Unfortunately, feedback isn’t often given because it can make people feel uncomfortable. Rather than fall into this trap, here are some ways to give frequent and effective feedback to your employees that will help everyone succeed.
One thing you should make an effort to avoid is giving your employees unsolicited advice. This is because, more often than not, the feedback people receive is just that, which only leads to stress on the person receiving feedback. Unless your employee asks for it directly, you should approach your employee and ask them when, if, and how they’d like to receive feedback. This puts control of the situation into the employee’s hands and increases the likelihood that they’ll act on whatever feedback you give them. Likewise, it’ll help your employees feel more confident and comfortable in asking for feedback in the future.
Vague feedback won’t do anything to help a person grow or improve. When giving employee feedback, it should be solution-oriented, clear, and to the point. Staying general doesn’t help your employees fix what you think needs improvement and could leave your employees confused as to what they need to correct. Instead, give guidance on how they can apply your feedback to their work. Keep in mind not to stick solely to corrective feedback—tell your employees what you were impressed with through positive feedback as well.
Keep in mind not to use the “sandwich approach” with your feedback, either; you shouldn’t sandwich corrective feedback between two bits of positive feedback. This can only increase confusion, undermine the feedback you’re giving, and decrease trust.
Employee feedback should never be done in public. Whether positive or negative, keep your feedback to a private meeting between yourself and your employee. This takes the attention off of your employee and makes it more comfortable for all parties. Consider writing your feedback so you can provide a more thoughtful answer, or move the location to an informal area to relieve any pressure.