I’ve always had difficulty giving feedback to my team. When I have to provide ways to improve, I get concerned that what I say will cause a problem. So instead of running the risk of confrontation and potentially losing key employees, I look the other way. They usually do a good job, but I think they could do better if they’re given more feedback. Any tips?
Dear No-Feedback Frank,
It’s apparent you know that giving feedback to employees is key to improved performance. Thatصs good. Whatصs not apparent is your belief about them not wanting feedback. Everyone wants feedback. They want to know if they are doing a good job or not, and they want to get better. Without your feedback, good or bad, how will they ever know? Here are some key points to consider when giving employees feedback:
ENSURE EXPECTATIONS ARE SET AND UNDERSTOOD
Start with setting the proper expectations for your employees. Once expectations are properly set, you can fairly evaluate their performance. And when they meet these expectations, you can lead the celebration of accomplishment. However, when expectations are not properly set, in addition to dealing with unsatisfactory results, you may have difficulty holding people accountable. Your expectations should be:
- Reasonable and clearly understood
- Come with stated consequences
GIVE CONSTRUCTIVE FEEDBACK
Feedback means acknowledging a job well done, suggesting actions for improvement, and more. Consider these tips when providing feedback:
- Be prepared. Shooting from the hip is a losing formula and affects your credibility. Gather the data and get the facts straight.
- Ensure feedback is timely. The perfect moment to provide feedback is when it happens. Waiting for a better time dilutes its effectiveness.
- Watch your tone. Feedback should not be threatening or judgmental; rather, it should be helpful and constructive. Focus on the issue, not the person. Do not be timid, apologetic, or emotional.
- Be specific. Include detailed examples when appropriate.
SEEK FEEDBACK YOURSELF
It’s good practice to seek feedback from your team on your own performance as a way to gain insight into areas that need improving. Consider these tips for receiving feedback:
- Listen. Acknowledge what you heard and seek clarity. Don’t debate or argue or defend. Just listen.
- Say thank you. Acknowledge the feedback from others and, if appropriate, say what you will do.
- Ask for more. This demonstrates you appreciate the feedback you’re receiving and are willing to accept more.
When delivering feedback, choose your words wisely so you can generate excitement, enthusiasm, and engagement. When you choose poorly, you could find yourself in an uncomfortable situation or even a confrontational mess.
For more information:
As a leadership development expert, Randy Goruk works with construction industry leaders to improve employee engagement and business growth. Register to receive his Leadership Tip of the Week at www.LeadersEdge360.com, or contact him directly to learn how he can help you and your team: randy@LeadersEdge360.com.
Modern Contractor Solutions, July 2021
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