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Feedback is one the most powerful tools for motivating and developing staff and yet, there are so many managers who avoid giving feedback and if they do, it’s often badly delivered. The result is a frustrated staff force. Here are a few things that shouldn't be done when giving feedback:
- Don’t use the compliment sandwich approach
What’s this, I hear you say? Well, a compliment sandwich is feedback that starts with a compliment, then something bad and ends with a compliment again. Let’s take a look:
“I really like that shirt you’re wearing. It’s really colourful”.
“I don’t think it’s really appropriate for the office, though”.
“But, I love your taste”.
What’s wrong with this approach?
Well, it can be completely misunderstood. The recipient will either hear all the praise or all the criticism. If you need to give critical feedback, don’t sandwich it between compliments.
- Don’t delay giving feedback
If there’s a problem with an employee’s work, deal with the problem immediately. Don’t delay and allow your frustrations to grow because you will end up venting that frustration and making things personal. Giving regular feedback should be something that comes naturally. It will help your employees know how they are doing and what is expected of them.
- Don’t give negative feedback only
Don't be that manager who only knows how to deliver critical feedback but never says a word when someone has done a good job. That can be so demoralising. People need to know when they’ve done well too because it creates a sense of well-being and accountability.
- Don’t generalise – be specific
When giving feedback, refer to specific examples. Don’t generalise. Don’t say “You’re slow in submitting reports”. Say instead, “You’ve been late in submitting the last two sales reports “.
The same is true for giving praise or positive feedback. Don’t just say, “You’re doing a great job”. Say instead, “Your last article for the magazine was excellent”.
- Don’t make giving feedback a special event
You should give feedback regularly to encourage behaviour you want to see more of, to prevent bad habits from becoming ingrained, and foster an atmosphere of open communication.
- Tell them how they can change
When you’ve giving corrective feedback, give a concrete and detailed description of what your employee needs to improve or change. It’s important that what you’re asking them to change or improve is doable.
- Don’t wait for the annual performance review
So many managers wait for the annual performance review to give their employees feedback instead of giving regular, ongoing feedback throughout the year. What should be done is that feedbacks should be given regularly and it shouldn't become a surprise situation to the employee.
(english with a twist)