6 Tips To Providing Effective Feedback
Feedback is a crucial component of every role – it identifies and positively reinforces good performance, and constructively addresses relevant areas which need improvement. In a leadership role, you will be expected to guide your staff and provide feedback on a regular basis. Providing feedback is one thing, however providing effective feedback that is going to be of use to the employee is not as easy as you think. It is important to have discussions of this kind on a regular basis to ensure that staff stay on track to work towards company goals, and continue to be the best they can be. When providing feedback, the following six points should be kept in mind.
1. Be proactive
Feedback will never be provided unless either parties are proactive about creating the opportunity to do so. As a manager, take the time to organise a meeting with each of your employees on a regular basis. This will ensure feedback is an expected and welcomed part of the role, and you are continuously working together to achieve goals.
2. Discuss in person
Whilst it is often easier to send feedback in an email, having the conversation in person will be much more beneficial long term. Written feedback can easily be misinterpreted, and often there are points that need some further clarification. Having this conversation in person allows all aspects to be discussed, and feelings can be gaged during the process.
3. Ask questions
Asking questions is an integral part of providing effective feedback – it is important to understand both sides and views on certain situations. You may have thought the employee could have performed better, however after asking questions you could learn that enough direction was not provided. Questions are useful for both parties and will help in greater guidance for future projects.
4. Goal orientated
Feedback which refers back to company goals and objectives is likely to be more effective than generalised comments. If the employee can understand how their actions contribute to specific goals, then they are more able to understand what went right and where they should make changes.
Discussing actions that occurred in the past and are no longer relevant to current organisational projects is almost pointless. Unless the employee can relate it to work they are currently completing, there is little benefit in bringing up past actions. Feedback should ideally be delivered when the employee is able to make the most of it, and implement it almost instantaneously.
Similarly, if the feedback is unable to be actioned, this will have little benefit to the employee. Providing effective feedback doesn’t just refer to letting someone know they did a ‘good job’, it must be able to be applied to a specific situation, and understood so that it can be done again. Remember – actionable feedback about what went right, as well as wrong, is important in moving forward.
Ultimately, feedback is critical as it contributes to productivity and good performance. I am interested though – are you in a role where providing effective feedback is important? Alternatively, are you on the receiving end of feedback often and think it could be done better? Share your views and let me know what you believe is important when delivering feedback.
This article was written by Laura Hutton on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB.