I just spoke to her and she quit!
Date Posted: 03/25/2014
How to Give Positive Feedback at Work
The ability to give and receive constructive feedback is crucial to the success of any professional workplace relationship. Feedback feels very personal both for the person giving it and receiving it since it affects self-esteem and creates emotion. If the feedback being given is negative, the person giving it often doesn’t say what they really want to say because they feel that it may demotivate or hurt the person receiving it. This only stores up more frustration, annoyance and resentment which can make a person explode in a completely unrelated situation without the recipient understanding or realizing why this has happened.
For managers, giving feedback is an important tool as it gives them a chance to offer opinions or evaluations of someone else’s behavior or performance. Most managers say they dislike giving feedback and don’t think it is effective and most employees say they don’t get enough feedback that actually helps them improve.
Constructive feedback is always objective, non-judgmental and based on specific observations, encourages discussion and allows a positive course to be set for the future.
Don’t be too general in your feedback and give it often. It is a continuing process rather than a formal session given once or twice a year. It is important to identify specifically the issue of performance involved with specific aspects of the performance that you as the manager like or dislike.
Focus on the issue not the person
Praise good performers right away. When negative feedback is required, talk with the employee within 24 hours. Your employee can’t read your mind. Be explicit about what needs to be done, changed or was done well. Avoid statements like “you always ………” or “your never …….”. Take a right or wrong or good or bad approach. Give the information on what the person did to warrant a feedback. If they don’t know what specific behavior earns the praise, they have no way of knowing how to do it again in future.
Always try to focus only on the positive even when giving negative feedback. You will get much better results with praise than with criticism. When giving positive feedback, be appreciative without mentioning other things that might need to change or be adjusted. Save those for times when you need to talk to the person about a particular incident that needs correction or when you are giving constructive feedback in general.
Although you should be armed with some solutions, discuss with the person concerned the possible solutions to the situation. Ask for his/her perspective on how they could resolve the situation. How can he/she improve? What worked well and what could have gone better? Questions like these establish a supportive atmosphere in which the employee can explore alternative approaches that might produce better results.
You’re not always right
Although you have all the data gathered, you might not really have the complete picture. Give time for the employee to speak up and make him/her feel you also want to hear their side.
Negative feedback should not outweigh positive ones. Make sure to provide a balance of positive and negative feedback, otherwise, employees will distrust your feedback and it will become useless.
Avoid feedback overload
Identify 2 to 3 important points you want to give feedback on. Giving too much feedback may confuse the employee on what needs to be improved or changed.
At the end of the discussion, identify major points raised and discussed so that you both clearly understand what has been said and agreed upon. If necessary, arrange a follow-up meeting to review progress.
Based on findings, giving praise and constructive feedback makes employees perform best and promotes positive emotions that encourage them to be flexible and creative. Feedback is a useful tool for indicating when things are going on the right track or for redirecting problem performance. If feedback is effectively carried out, it encourages openness within the workplace and promotes constructive approaches in fine tuning staff performance to meet business goals, objectives and core values.
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