Giving and receiving feedback can really help a company and its employees. When given properly it can improve and develop the people within your organisation.
However, there are times when feedback is given in the wrong way and not taken into account. This can be detrimental to the leadership team, as employees could lose confidence and trust in their superiors.
We will look at ways in which managers or managers can give feedback successfully and regularly to keep them motivated and strive to be their best.
Know Your Intentions
What would you like to achieve from your feedback session with your employee?
Take the time to look back on previous feedback you have given them and see if they have improved or whether there is room for improvement. Think back to recent projects: what did they do well? What do they need to do to improve?
A feedback session is not just about negative comments. Tell your employees what they are doing well. This will give them a boost to continue their challenging work.
Prepare Your Comments
As much as you think you will remember all your pointers, there is bound to be something you forget to mention. You obviously don’t want to sound like you’re reading a script, but you want to be clear on what you are going to say. Preparing will help you stay on track and stick to the issues.
Keep It Private
Some people don’t like to be the focus of attention.
It is highly recommended not to criticise publicly. This can be uncomfortable for both the recipient and the giver. This can also go for giving praise!
Find a secluded area to talk to the employee, neutral ground so that no one feels inferior to anyone else. This will allow the conversation to flow without the worry of people overhearing your conversation. It will also give the recipient the opportunity to ask questions without feeling uncomfortable in front of their colleagues.
Schedule a 1 to 1 Feedback Session
Putting the meeting in your calendars can help you prepare for your meeting.
Consider putting in a few pointers about what you want to talk about. This gives the employee time to focus on what you are going to talk to them, and it will not come as much as a surprise.
Try not to leave feedback meetings to quarterly reviews. If you wait four months at a time, things can be forgotten or not taken seriously, as the feedback would have been more valuable when it happened.
Don’t Overdo It
Although you may see several areas for improvement, avoid overwhelming people with feedback. This could be very confusing for your employee to digest, so try to concentrate on one or two areas at a time.
Think about what is the most critical area that needs rectifying and consider time. If it is something that you know will take time to improve, give them a head start and make this the first port of call.
When you give feedback, it should be solution-oriented, clear and to the point. If you want to give corrective feedback, you should ideally avoid phrases like “this needs to be better” or “I wasn’t impressed with…” that can be considered accusatory and leave your employee confused and discouraged. It will also leave them in the dark about where their work needs to be corrected.
Be specific about what you want your employee to work on and how to correct it. Use phrases like “I noticed that your recent project was not quite up to standard, especially against your other work.” Is everything ok? Do you need any help with anything? I would suggest that you plan your work and try to stick to a structure. This will show the employee that you are concerned and that you want to help them if they have difficulty.
A Bit of Empathy Goes a Long Way
Giving constructive feedback can be difficult. If you deliver something your employee may find difficult to take on, try to deliver it with a more sensitive approach. Put yourself in their shoes, or even if you have already found yourself in their situation, let them know. This will ease them and allow them to digest.
Ron Carucci, in his article “Giving Feedback to Someone Who Hasn’t Had it in Years”, gives a great analogy to this situation:
“Delivering feedback that exposes a wide gap in self-knowledge demands an extra measure of sensitivity. Like ripping off a scab, the sting of discovering such a profound gap often elicits strong emotions that can easily be confused as defensiveness. If you’re someone who’s borne the brunt of your colleague’s difficult behavior, be sure you can set those frustrations aside in favor of the empathy you’ll need for this conversation. Before you even approach your colleague, be prepared to give them the space they’ll need to feel shocked upon receiving your feedback. Remember not to interpret it as intensified resistance to your message.”
Let It Be a Conversation
Rather than just lecturing your employee about how they can improve, allow them you talk to you about how they feel about the feedback and ask questions about it. This will help build trust and confidence between you and your team.
If you’re having a conversation, there may also be the opportunity for your employee to provide you with feedback which could help you in the long run with how you can be an effective leader.
Find A Solution Together
Once you have had a conversation about the feedback given, work on a solution together.
Create a plan. Give suggestions on how they can improve their performance and ask what steps they think they need to implement to get the desired results. This will also give you the opportunity to see if they really understand where they need to improve and have listened to what you have said.
Follow Up The Feedback
Sometimes it can take some time for feedback to be processed and implemented, but make sure you keep following up with your team to make sure they are happy with the change. This will show them that you really care about their progress and improvements. It will also give them the opportunity to ask any questions if they have any – some people are apprehensive to come forward with questions so you going to them will make it more comfortable for them to open up.
The ability to give effective feedback is crucial for the growth and development of your team. These tips will help any manager or leader to build a trusted relationship with their team, and this will lead to a higher performance environment.
If you’re a hiring manager looking for more great talent to join your Life Science team, contact our consultants today at Focus On LifeScience and we will be happy to help.