Feedback and constructive criticism are not only necessary for employees but also helps them grow in the long run. It is also a way by which you can assess and bring out the areas an employee is talented in and help them emphasize it, in addition to helping them overcome weaker areas. Here are 6 steps by which you can truly add value through productive feedback:
1. Begin with the purpose: Transparency is key and employees should know what you would specifically like to highlight when beginning a feedback session. Be specific and to-the-point when explaining the purpose. This is especially useful if the person has requested you to give them feedback.
2. Give examples & be specific: Based on your observations, bring out concrete examples where you can tell them what could be done better. Put this across from your point of view and do not bring in others’ opinions, as this could cause potential misunderstandings. For instance you could begin by saying “A couple of times last month, I observed…’
3. Be a good listener: When you have finished explaining your observations, give the other person the opportunity to respond with their thoughts. Do not interrupt and make sure you listen carefully and make them feel like they can trust you to hear them out and see their point of view as well.
4. Describe why this needs attention: When talking about the area that you are providing feedback for, tell the person clearly why this is so important and why it would be good for them too, to improve upon this. This will give them a lot more clarity on the issue and motivate them to take the necessary steps towards change.
5. Express support & sum it up: At the end of your discussion, it’s always good to say something like, “Thanks a lot for your patience and for being open to this discussion. Please feel free to ask me anytime you need any support or have any doubts and I’d be happy to help”. This ends the discussion on a positive note and gives the employee the confidence that will enable them to improve.
6. Follow up after giving it time: After you have observed the employee incorporate your feedback into their work, ensure that you follow up with them and tell them how far they have come and how you appreciate their positive approach to the feedback you had given them. This will also give them a morale boost and motivate them to work even more and live up to their potential.
Feedback is a vital part of employee evaluation, and given the right way, it can drive them to reflect upon their work and improve the aspects that need a little more effort. It can also help them emphasize their talents and give them better clarity on what needs to be done.