Connect with us


4 Tips for Leaders to Give Better Feedback



4 Tips for Leaders to Give Better Feedback

As a leader, the ability to provide constructive feedback is an indispensable skill that can push individuals toward greater success. Yet, all too often, feedback is delivered haphazardly or avoided altogether, resulting in missed opportunities for growth. 

Below, you’ll find a few strategies for management to give better feedback. By utilizing these skills, leaders can develop stronger relationships, boost team morale, and drive organizational excellence. You can also create an environment of continuous improvement and mutual respect.

1. Gather Evidence of Work Performance

As a manager, you’ll be supplying both positive and negative feedback to your employees. Either way, but especially when giving corrective feedback, it’s important to allow the employee to see evidence of the problems. If an employee’s performance is lacking, it’s necessary to address the issue. But before you do, gather evidence of the employee’s deficiency. 

It’s never easy to provide constructive criticism. However, if you have proof of the problem, you’re more prepared to explain it. You’re also able to address any defensive behavior. Make copies of paper documents or use a screen recorder to explain digital issues. 

It’s important not to be biased when addressing performance. Having physical evidence of any problems allows you to provide the employee with examples. It also prevents you from placing your own judgment on the situation. When you have evidence during employee reviews, you are able to offer objective and professional feedback. And if there are issues, you can suggest ways to avoid them going forward.

2. Listen to Your Employees

Do not just provide feedback to your employees and expect silence in return. You want to find out their perspective on both positive and negative comments. Actively listen to their viewpoints. Be fully engaged when listening. Ask questions. Try to see their side of the situation. Encourage them to respond to each point. 

Sometimes employees don’t seem to have anything to say. Ask them to send you an email or respond to you on the company messaging app. This allows them time to think about what was said and prepare a thoughtful response to your points. Active listening enables you to better understand your employee’s thought process and how they see their performance. It can also help you find a disconnect between a person’s role within the company and how they perceive it. 

An employee’s comments may enable you to adapt your feedback to better suit them. You’ll be able to provide better guidance on what changes need to be made. Offer actionable steps to improve and involve them in solutions to each problem. By collaborating with your employees to resolve issues, you encourage them to take ownership of improving themselves. They’ll feel motivated to grow and change. 

3. Be Mindful of How You Give Feedback

How you give feedback is just as important as the feedback you provide. It’s necessary to be timely with your comments. Since the overarching goal of feedback is to help the employee improve, you want your advice to be relevant. Don’t wait too long before giving feedback, but allow at least 24 hours to pass. This gives you both time to think about the performance. 

When you have that discussion with the employee, do so in the right setting. Above all, it should be private. Never give criticism in public or where it could be overheard. Many companies feel that all feedback — positive or negative — should be given in private. You don’t want your comments to become part of watercooler discussions.

When you give your employees feedback, take them somewhere where you won’t be disturbed. Give them time to prepare for the discussion too. Don’t just spring it on them. You want them to be aware of what in particular you will be discussing. You might want to say, “I’d like to meet with you for fifteen minutes this afternoon to talk about yesterday’s presentation.” This allows them time to mentally prepare.

4. Be Specific and Stay Focused

When giving corrective feedback, it’s important to be specific about the problems you perceive and the solutions you expect. Don’t just say things like, “Those reports were subpar. You need to do better.” and expect an employee to improve. Your comments don’t explain why you feel the reports are lacking or what they could do to make them acceptable. Instead, specifically explain the problem and compare examples of their reports with a report that meets your expectations. 

It’s wise not to mix positive and negative feedback when having a discussion with an employee. Many managers swear by the sandwich method: one positive comment, a negative one, then one more positive one. The idea is that it softens the blow of the corrective feedback. However, what it really does is cause confusion and may even weaken your evaluation of the problem. Instead, focus on one performance area per meeting and only give one type of feedback at that meeting.

Try to keep the meeting short, while staying focused on the purpose at hand. Your employee may feel nervous or get defensive when you bring up the problem. Allow their input, but at the same time, keep the meeting on track. You don’t want to provide too much information or discuss other issues. If you do, you risk confusion over the main point of the meeting, which is to improve a specific performance area.

Giving Great Feedback

Effective feedback is a key part of successful leadership. It drives performance and fosters growth within organizations. By implementing these strategies, managers can improve their feedback practices and develop a culture of continuous improvement. 

Through open communication, mutual respect, and a commitment to development, leaders can empower their employees to achieve their full potential. They can also drive organizational success. As managers prioritize assessments, they lay the groundwork for a culture of excellence and innovation.