Feedback is crucial to growth as individuals, and to improving the collective knowledge and performance within us as organizations. Nevertheless, feedback is often something that we as managers, and indeed as organizations, are not very good at. Here are five simple ways that you can make feedback more effective.
Make your feedback specific
360 review feedback meetings often fall into the trap of being so generic that they are a waste of time. In order for feedback to be valuable it needs to be specific to a particular task or a particular area of work. So point out the precise thing you’re talking, and say why it was good (or bad).
Make your feedback timely
The best feedback is when the task at hand is fresh in the employees mind. For feedback to work it needs to be as closely linked to the associated behavior as possible. If you wait until an official performance review meeting then the chances are that both you and the employee will have forgotten the behavior that merited feedback in the first place.
Make your feedback constructive
Research has shown that employees value positive feedback above pretty much anything else at work, so whilst I’m not advocating that you sugar coat things and avoid giving criticism where it’s due, try and ensure that your feedback has a positive hue to it. As with any relationship, we tend to dwell more on the negatives than the positives, so to ensure a good relationship with your team, you need to give them regular positive feedback.
Make your feedback personal
These people in your team are special, that’s why you recruited them to your team, right? So treat them as such, and work on building the trust and relationship with your team by making the feedback you give them as personal as possible. If you’re praising them for instance, why not do it in public so the rest of the team know what a great job they’ve done? Handwritten notes are another great way of showing that you’ve taken the time to think of them, and appreciate the work they do.
Make your feedback sincere
People are generally pretty good at telling if we’re feeding them bs, so make sure that your feedback is from the heart and sincere. Don’t try and fake it, but equally, don’t be afraid to give feedback when you feel it’s due. This should be one of the most enjoyable parts of the managers job, so look forward to it.