Feedback is one of the most effective methods to correct issues, improve productivity, and raise employee morale. While the traditional approach has been to schedule employee reviews quarterly or even just annually, these are both very infrequent feedback schedules, and offering more constant feedback could be better for your company. Here’s what you need to know about transitioning to a constant feedback schedule.
Benefits of Frequent Feedback
The most significant benefit of providing more feedback is that it increases employee engagement, as the most engaged employees are those who have meetings with management at least weekly. Employees want to know what they’re doing right and wrong. Critical feedback allows them to correct issues, and positive feedback shows them your appreciation for what they do. If you’re only meeting with your employees once every few months, they may feel like just another number, not a valued part of your operation.
Even though employees don’t often vocalize their desire for more feedback, it is something many of them want. This is especially true among Millennials, who can make great employees when you connect with them.
Constant feedback is particularly important when there’s a problem with an employee’s performance. Letting employees know immediately ensures everything is fresh in their memory and that they don’t keep making the same mistake.
How to Provide Feedback More Often
In theory, providing weekly or even daily feedback to your employees may seem like a major time commitment. In practice, all you need to do is re-evaluate your idea of what feedback is.
Not all your feedback needs to be a 20-minute meeting with an employee or even a meeting at all. The bulk of your feedback should be informal chats. You can stop by the employee’s desk for this, or just send them a text, an instant message, or an email. These are all great ways to check in with your employees on a day-to-day basis. You can still do more formal reviews every so often and when there’s a serious issue to discuss.
Keys to Effective Feedback
Feedback only helps your employees if it’s effective feedback. What matters most when giving feedback, whether it’s praise or a critique, is your demeanour. If you have a positive, encouraging attitude, that reassures your employees and makes them feel like they can talk to you openly. This helps you build a better connection with them. Balance out critiques with praise whenever possible and propose solutions for any issues the employee is having.
Using specific examples in your feedback is also important, as valid evidence makes employees more likely to accept what you’re saying. For example, if an employee is taking longer than you’d like on a task, let them know the average time they take and your target time for them. Examples are just as beneficial for positive feedback as they are for critiques. Telling an employee you appreciate how they closed three sales yesterday is much nicer for them to hear than a generic “Good job yesterday.”
While it takes time to get into the habit of providing constant feedback, it’s well worth it for the productivity boost and better employee morale.