Let’s assume that employer regularly gives feedback to their employees. Is regularity enough? Does something like good and effective feedback really exist?
The regularity of feedback is a crucial but not the most important issue. What does it actually mean “regular”? Once a day, a week, a month, half a year, a year… Apart from planned meetings and development talks, it is worth remembering about regularity in a different context: I provide feedback each time when I observe a behavior which needs to be improved or which is worth being appreciated. “Regularly” in this context means “always when it is needed”. I very often observe disturbing situations when a manager notices an inappropriate behavior of their employee but they do not react immediately and keep their thoughts to themselves. These thoughts find a way to let it go later in definitely less adequate circumstances with no reference to that concrete situation. Then, feedback turns out to be unclear. What is more, the way we provide feedback and whether we develop our skills in this field are also important.
So what should be taken into consideration while providing our employees with effective feedback?
It is worth remembering about 5 fundamental steps thanks to which our feedback can be effective. Firstly, we should prepare ourselves to the conversation; sometimes 2 minutes are enough to analyze the situation and collect the information we would like to refer to. Our feedback will gain in credibility in the eyes of the recipient if we are precise, businesslike and prepared. Besides, we should speak in first person; if a manager speaks impersonally, the second participant will not receive their message properly or interpret it differently. Asking questions is also of great importance. We can achieve more when we hold a conversation and ask questions, clarifying the employee’s position, than delivering a dry monologue. Another important point is resignation from an attacking position. When you move to attack and reproach somebody, the emotions take control and everything is counterproductive. Finally, it is necessary to thank for the conversation, engagement and devoted time. There are also some techniques which make providing feedback easier. For instance, the so called GOLD method. If you want to find out more, there is some detailed information on our website czteryp.pl.
How can we prepare to conversation during which we want to provide our employees with feedback? How should we start?
First of all, facts and analysis of situation would be extremely important. No matter if this is to be a conversation aimed at appreciating the employee or a conversation aimed at changing certain behaviors. An adequate preparation to conversation, collection of facts, concrete behaviors, sometimes even concrete phrases and sentences, would allow to avoid concentrating on emotions, which can be actually very confusing in the case of feedback.
It is worth remembering about the already mentioned adequate preparation, no matter of significance of a given situation. However, it is quite obvious that the amount of time devoted on preparation to a conversation with a merchant, summing up their sales months, would be incomparable with a situation when we notice that employee is late on an important meeting with their client.
No matter if the preparation time is short or long, this stage definitely cannot be omitted if we want to provide effective feedback.