When you run any kind of business, keeping your employees on the straight and narrow and maintaining a good relationship with them is of the utmost importance. Workers are more productive and engaged when they know what's expected of them, and giving feedback is an important part of ensuring they take care of their duties effectively.
However, not all feedback is created equal, and the goal should always be to make sure it's clear and constructive:
1) Remember the positivity sandwich
Whenever you are dealing with an employee, your feedback should never be all good or all bad, according to Culture Amp. Even your best employees have areas where they can improve, and those who struggle the most still do some things well. As such, you should always strive to build that classic "compliment sandwich" of positive feedback, then negative, then more positive.
2) Be specific
When discussing what an employee does well, or may need to improve, speaking in broad terms isn't always necessarily effective, Culture Amp said. Instead, sit down with them and think about specific instances that you want them to amplify or focus on fixing so there's no uncertainty about what's actually expected from your workers.
3) Talk about behavior, not personality
Especially when it comes to negative feedback, there's a right and wrong approach to trying to alter their habits, according to Officevibe. For instance, if you say to someone who can be a bit disruptive in meetings, "You tend to be a bit overbearing," that's perhaps not going to be received well or give them much direction. However, if you say, "Some of your coworkers have said that you tend to talk over them in meetings," that's a clear, concise area where they can work on their behavior.
4) Make it a two-way conversation
Another classic misstep when giving feedback is to lecture the employee about what they do - whether it's right or wrong, Officevibe added. Instead, encourage them to ask questions or give their side of the story for any feedback you provide so that you can both come to a better understanding. That doesn't mean getting into an argument, but added context never hurts in improving your working relationship.
5) Talk about the impact work or behavior has
When you're giving feedback, it's important to make sure the employee not only knows what about their work is positive or negative, but what effects that behavior has, according to Indeed. That way, it's easier to understand the full impact of their hard work, or how others might have to pick up the slack for them. Making individuals' efforts a community issue - one way or the other - helps workers see beyond themselves.
6) Do it regularly
Finally, it's always a good idea to make feedback sessions a more common practice in your business, Indeed noted. That way, workers don't go months or more without hearing about what they're doing well or where they can improve, and are therefore likely to spend more time doing the kind of work you expect from them.
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