5 Ways to Give Helpful Feedback to Employees

Employee feedback is at the core of personal and professional success. According to Gallup’s recent State of the American Workplace Report, “Employees are more likely to learn and grow when they receive immediate feedback that is specific, targeted at their development, and able to be put into practice right away.”


Here are five tips for providing employee feedback that will help ensure fruitful results:


1.     Make sure feedback is ongoing.


Don’t save feedback for formal quarterly or annual reviews. More and more companies are moving away from these regularly-scheduled sessions, with good reason: Employees prefer, need, and benefit more from ongoing feedback in real-time.


·        If improvement needs to be made in an employee’s performance, the sooner they find out about it the sooner they can correct the problem. If they have reached or exceeded a goal, the sooner they receive positive feedback, the more rewarding it is to them.


2.     Be specific.


Employee feedback should be crystal clear, specific and to the point. If it’s too general, it’s like a pat on the back that may make a person feel good momentarily but doesn’t do an effective job of either reinforcing or changing behavior.


·        Here’s an example: Rather than simply stating that “you need to work harder on your monthly reports,” say something like this: “In addition to outlining your current projects on your monthly reports, I’d like you to include data on costs to date, staff hours used, and where you stand in terms of meeting deadline.”


3.     Focus on performance, not personality.


Constructive feedback is descriptive and should always be directed to the action, not the person. Focus on performance and behavior, not personality traits.


·        Appeal to a person’s head, rather than their heart. Consider this example, as noted in The Secret to Giving Constructive Criticism: Rather than saying, “your arrogance is causing a problem,” say “when you interrupt me in front of a client, it causes a problem.”


4.     Be sure it’s a two-way conversation.


Whenever you talk with an employee to give feedback, make it a true dialogue. Listen even more than you talk.


·        You will likely instigate the conversation but, whenever possible, ask permission before giving feedback. This approach can be very powerful. Your lead-in could be “I’d like to give you some feedback about this morning’s presentation. Is that okay with you?” This gives your employee some control over the situation, which is desirable and often leads to a better outcome.


5.     End on a positive note.


Even if the purpose of feedback is to improve performance or rectify something that has veered off course, don’t beat around the bush. Bring it up at the beginning of your conversation. Then, be as positive and encouraging as you can. End by letting your employee know that you value and support them, you appreciate their efforts, and you look forward to what is to come.


PrideStaff Modesto can assist as you not only attract top talent, but also develop your employees so they can help grow your business – and grow with your business. We have a proven track record spanning more than 30 years and customer service rankings in the top 2 percent in the entire staffing industry. Contact us today to learn more.