Giving Effective Employee Feedback (Part 2)

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November 24, 2021
Giving Effective Employee Feedback (Part 1)
November 24, 2021
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Giving Effective Employee Feedback (Part 2)

This article has points 5 through 8

5. Don’t take the “sandwich approach”

Helping someone improve should always be the goal of feedback but sandwiching corrective feedback between two pieces of positive feedback won’t soften the blow. This method creates confusion for the receiver, undermines your feedback, and can decrease levels of trust.

Although it may feel more uncomfortable for the giver, being upfront and transparent with corrective feedback sets the foundation for an authentic conversation. Focus on delivering feedback tactfully instead of beating around the bush.

6. Make the conversation a two-way street

Lecturing someone on how they should improve is about as effective as talking to a brick wall. Don’t forget the important element of respect when discussing vulnerable topics, and certainly don’t talk at someone when it’s far more effective to open up the conversation and talk with them.

Let the receiver respond to your feedback and allow them to ask follow-up questions. Once the issue is clear, then you two can work together to land on a solution or course of action.

7. Focus on performance, not personality

Focus on an employee’s behaviors (what they do) rather than on their personality traits (what they’re like). Consider these two examples from “The Secret to Giving Constructive Criticism” and think about what type of feedback you would like to receive.

Example 1: “Your arrogance is causing a problem.”
Example 2: “When you interrupt me in front of a client it causes a problem.”

The better approach to feedback is in example 2 because it’s focused on the person’s behavior, whereas example 1 takes a jab at the person’s character, which won’t be conducive to improvement.

8. Keep the conversation going by following up

Evaluation is tough, and it takes a lot of thought and energy to do it properly. Instead of treating feedback conversations as a one-and-done, follow up with your direct report and show appreciation when you see improvement along the way. This will show them that you care about their success, and it can motivate them to keep up the great work.

Employee feedback is a necessary part of growth and development. These tips can help managers and leaders deliver it more effectively, which will lead to more collaborative, communicative, and higher-performing teams.