Performance feedback is when a boss or a leader holds one-on-one performance discussion with an employee or staff member. What is it for? Every organization has its own pre-established work criteria and objectives and the company needs to monitor that all employees are following them. Performance appraisal is a very crucial part of organization management as it helps in career development, employee satisfaction, retention and motivation.
Many companies keep an annual feedback meeting with its employees and all issues or drawbacks are discussed in a group or two. Without proper feedback, employees become stagnant in their work assuming what and how they are doing it is good or satisfactory. Thus, an annual task of discussing work performance can be scary for employees and time-consuming in the eyes of a manager.
Why do managers shy away from giving positive and negative performance feedback more frequently? It is very important for the development of good team effort and business prosperity for managers to hold frequent one-on-one discussions with their employees. This way immediate feedback is given to the employee and he can work better on his objectives. This is also an excellent opportunity to motivate employees to work harder and continue positive attitude.
Effective employee feedback is specific, not general and overall. For example, saying, “You did a very good job on writing that report yesterday” instead of “good job,” informs the employee about what exactly he is being appreciated for.
A feedback needs to be provided sincerely and honestly to help. A useful one always focuses on a specific behavior or completed task and not on the person or his intentions, something the employee could improve or change.
There are two kinds of performance appraisals; positive and constructive. In a positive feedback, a manager praises a certain job performance or a behavioral trait that has been seen or noted by the manager. He shares information and specific observations by which he provides information that an employee can use. The important aspect a manager should keep in mind is; he should not be giving advice on how to do something instead should ask the employee if he needs any help.
Constructive feedback on the other hand is directed towards negative traits in a behavior during a work process. This usually helps employees understand where they might be doing something that is harming their own overall performance rather than overall personality defect. Here managers need to be very specific and suggestive. Accusing or directly questioning motives of an employee would put him on the defensive side. This ensures de-motivation and dependability issues in the employee in question.
Whether the feedback is positive or constructive, manager should take care in providing information that is as closely tied to the relative event as possible. When it is well timed, the employee can easily focus on that action that prompted the feedback. It should be a suggestion or as assessment that can improve the employee performance and not a suggestion as to how to do a job.
Informing the employee is not enough; the manager needs to make sure that he understood what the manager had communicated. There is an easy way to check by performing a feedback loop that is by asking a question or observing behavioral change.
All employees look for some recognition for what they are doing. This may be good or bad behavior. Employees like to be appreciated for what they have done well. This keeps them motivated and dedicated to the goals of the organization and follow expected or productive job behavior.
Feedback is a good way to provide regular tips and suggestions to help employees grow and improve their skills. It needs to be given in small portions like tips and suggestions, in which turn make them a norm around work environment. Frequency leads to consistency that leads to comfortable employee relationships.
It is the job of a manager to find ways to frame constructive feedbacks as realistic improvements. Positive compliments during or after a less-than-positive feedback can only overthrow an employee’s confidence. Instead, it should be a discussion in which the skill development of the employee can be discussed.
Feedbacks are not limited to single employees. A team working on a specific job should also be provided with positive information on their performance. This ensures collective efforts and increases team value.
Managers should not try to give only positive feedbacks just to get in the good books of an employee. This will make the manager’s efforts stale and employers will stop buying his façade of “I am a good manager”. Managers need to be direct and compassionate at the same time when dealing with group feedback. Single employees can be dealt with in private this way the employee does not feel degraded and embarrassed in front of coworkers.