Constructive Feedback - How to Get the Best from Your Employees

Martin Haworth
 


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Giving feedback in a constructive way is beneficial for everyone. Your employee values your experienced and focused input, thus improving their performance. You gain a better motivated team. And your organisation benefits from a gradually evolving skilled workforce, leading to a stronger culture of sustainable performance growth.

Here are ten keys points which will enable you to get the best value from your workforce.

1. Instill trust - criticism can be a bitter pill to swallow, so sweeten it by showing that you're trying to help the person, not looking to feed your own ego.

2. Know your aim - work out what you want them to do differently and keep this in mind while you talk to them.

3. Think right place, right time - have the conversation as soon as possible after the incident, so that the events are still fresh. If it's a sensitive issue, take it somewhere private.

4. Set the scene - make it clear from the outset what you need to talk about. If you think the other person knows what you are going to say, then start with a question, such as, “How do you think this morning's presentation went?"

5. State what went wrong – help them get clear what they think happened first, then explain to them the positives of the performance – and the tricky bits too. Don’t miss the chance.

6. Short and sweet – by ensuring that you keep the pain to a reasonable timescale, they won’t feel belittled. Make sure that you make your point and listen to theirs an have done with it.

7. Share the impact – it’s also important to explain what the consequences of their actions will be, especially to the organisation. It isn’t intended to scare them, more a gentle reminder of the bigger picture.

8. Be present – it’s time to make time for them in this moment – they need you to be on their side. That can only happen if you give your full attention, so make every effort to do so.

9. Value them – at the end of the conversation it’s time to let them know how highly you regard them. That they are a great member of your team and that they do great work. This is just one of those things to learn by.

10. Seek solutions together – and you and they are working collaboratively to make this work better in future. You are a team and all for one/one for all etc.

Remember, giving feedback constructively makes for growth in performance, as it is a learning exercise.

Treating people well in this situation is great for building relationships one-on-one, which will make for a developing workforce, and not one that feels constantly criticised.

© 2005-6 Martin Haworth is a Business and Management Coach. He works worldwide, mainly by phone, with small business owners, managers and corporate leaders. He has hundreds of hints, tips and ideas at his website, http://www.coaching-businesses-to-success.com .

. . . helping you, to help your people, to help your business grow. . .

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