3 Simple Tips For Giving Feedback
One of the greatest gifts that any leader can give their employees is the gift of feedback. Many leaders withhold feedback because they’re either too busy or they don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings. In either case, it’s a disservice to those we lead when we allow them to do their job blindly without knowing if they’re meeting our expectations. A lack of feedback also creates a stressful work environment and decreases productivity.
If you want to create a better place to work for your employees and create a culture of coaching, make time to give feedback on a regular basis. Once a year is not enough.
Here are some tips to give better feedback that yields greater results:
Speak to Behaviors
Behaviors are what drive results. If your results are down, look for specific behaviors to speak to. Telling someone they’re doing a good job or that they’re not performing well is not good enough. People need to know what actions they’re doing that are detrimental to their productivity or what behaviors you expect. They need to hear, “When you do speak this way, use these words, turn the lever like this, fail to ask this question, etc., it causes this reaction.” Whether you want to reinforce good behavior or correct a behavior, you must point it out specifically or they’ll never know what to correct or keep doing.
Include the Why
This is just as important as speaking to a behavior. People need to understand the end result of the behaviors you’re correcting or reinforcing. If they don’t, they will fall back into old habits or fail to continue doing what you need. You can start by saying, “When you do (this behavior), it does (this result) to the customer or company.” If they don’t understand the why behind the feedback, they’ll either be frustrated thinking you’re creating extra work or feel like you’re picking on them. The why creates the buy in on their part for the needed change. Failing to give it to them can result in no changes in behaviors.
Don’t forget to praise good behaviors. You may not feel like you need to reward them or praise them for doing what you’re expecting them to do, but praise always yields more productivity. When people know they’re doing a good job, the right way, they want to work harder. If all you’re doing is giving feedback on negative behaviors, they’ll feel like they can never do anything right and morale will begin to slip. Your praise of specific behaviors you want to reinforce will fuel them and create a work environment where people thrive. I often tell leaders to try to go a month with giving praise only feedback and watch what happens to your workers, your work environment and your productivity. You’ll be amazed by the results.
We would love to hear your feedback on both this - the good, the bad and the ugly. How has coaching WORKED or NOT WORKED for you and/or your team?