The Art Of Giving Feedback To Employees

Feedback is an essential tool in your office if you want to develop great people. It can either change a behavior or reinforce a behavior. Either way well-delivered feedback can help employees grow and improve – but there is definitely an art to giving feedback to employees.

A businessman gives a thumbs up and a thumbs down while giving feedback

Giving feedback to employees is a delicate situation. We’ve all been the recipients of poorly delivered feedback that leaves us frustrated, belittled, and diminished. It’s your job to give feedback that supports and encourages positive change in your employees. Don’t worry, it’s not as hard as you might think.

To master the art of giving feedback to your employees, you need to drill this simple feedback formula into your head:

  • Ask Permission – Always check with a person to see if they are open to receiving feedback. If they say yes, then deliver the feedback. If not, it might be best to check in later.
  • Be Timely – Feedback needs to be delivered in a timely fashion so that the situation is still fresh in the employee’s mind.
  • Customize It – Always read your audience. Cater your deliver tactics and techniques to the individual. Some employees want to hear the blatant, honest truth, while other people will need you to sugar coat it a little bit.
  • Describe The Situation – Only address one issue at a time and be very specific.
  • Explain The Behavior – Let the employee know how their behavior changed the situation for the better or for the worse.
  • Describe The Impact – Explain how the behavior set them up for success or for failure. Let them know how it affects the situation.
  • Make Suggestions For Improvement – Now that you’ve gotten to the root of the issue, it’s time to explain how to make things better. If you don’t have a solution, let the employee help with the problem solving process. It’s always best to make them feel like they are part of the solution, not part of the problem.
  • Check For Understanding – Ensure that the employee understands the situation and how to be even better the next time around. Allow time for questions and listen to what the employee has to say.
  • Encourage Success – Show your support for the employee’s long-term success. Help to coach them through the behavior change if necessary.

As you can see, impactful feedback needs to be open, honest, positive, specific, customized, timely, and supported. Use this feedback formula to your advantage and you’ll be able to develop a powerful team of workers. Always strive to deliver more positive feedback than negative feedback. This will reinforce great performance and make the constructive feedback a little bit easier to swallow.

How To Provide Feedback To Employees Without Hurting Anyone’s Feelings

Now go and practice giving feedback to your employees. The more you practice, the sooner you’ll be able to master this art form. If you really need help, develop a script that will help you tick all of the boxes.

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