Posted On August 18, 2016 By Alison Hardy

Is your team doing a good job?

Did they exceed your expectations in the last project, or perhaps do not so well?

Have you told them?

You should.

Regular feedback is an essential tool for a manager. It’s one of the simplest and most effective ways to drive employee performance and engagement. It gives the individual perspective on how they’re doing and insight into how others view their efforts.

It’s not just important to the development and motivation of the individual either. The effects of healthy feedback benefit the whole organisation by influencing employee satisfaction, productivity and building a sense of belonging.

Yet it seems there’s not so much being shared around.

A report from employee engagement company OfficeVibe found that 65% of employees admitted they’d like to get more feedback, and were twice as likely to be actively disengaged if ignored by their manager.

Your team shouldn’t have to wait until their annual performance review to get an understanding of how they’re doing. Regular, informal feedback such as appreciation for doing their job well, excelling at a specific task, and being held accountable when they don’t meet expectations, should be part of everyday work life.

Different types of feedback

Feedback generally falls into two categories.

Positive feedback – Just like it says on the packet, positive feedback is a ‘pat on the back’ for a job well done. It could be in relation to a successful event or task, or for an attitude, such as their reliability or resilience in the face of ongoing challenges.

Constructive feedback – When things haven’t gone to plan, it’s time to give some constructive feedback so your team member can understand why they weren’t up to scratch and what’s required next time. The key is to provide specific, non-judgmental feedback around the issue so they’ll take responsibility for improving.

Tips to giving effective feedback

Here are some pointers to giving effective feedback.

>> Be specific
Vague feedback typically has little or no effect. Tailor your message to the individual and the situation. Focus on facts like the action, the impact of that action and the desired behavior, rather than the person.

>> Be timely
The best time to give feedback is when the context is still fresh in everyone’s mind. Don’t leave it too long or the effect will be diminished.

>> Keep it up
Don’t make feedback a one off event. Regularity builds relationships and helps shape your team member’s behavior.

>> Consider the individual
Give thought to the personality of the individual you’re going to address – their context, feelings and opinions – so you can frame your feedback for maximum impact.

>> Don’t hold back your positive feedback
Receiving that affirming message feels really good. It can give the receiver a much needed boost of confidence and feeling of being valued. And don’t save positive feedback for exceptional performance, use it for team members who are just doing their job.

>> Try giving positive feedback to under-performing team members
Positive feedback can be used to recognise what under performers are doing well too. This approach can provide a much needed lift and re-motivate those team members to improve their performance across all of their work.

Receiving feedback

In an environment of healthy feedback, you’re likely to receive feedback yourself from your manager, colleagues and, potentially, your staff. That’s a positive experience! You can learn much from the perspectives of others, whether it’s positive or constructive.

Where to go for coaching

We’ve developed a new half-day in-house workshop around this important topic called “Giving Effective Feedback”. It’s aimed at developing the skills of Team Leaders and Managers looking to improve team performance.

If you’d like to find out more or arrange a session for your organisation, please call us on 1300 658 388 for a chat.