One of the most crucial parts to a manager’s job is helping employees improve and grow. Being an effective manager means offering your employees both praise and criticism throughout their time on your team. We have found that these tips can help you make the most of your feedback sessions.
What Does the Employee Think?
Employee feedback sessions should be a conversation instead of a lecture. Discuss their thoughts and point-of-view about what feedback they would suggest for themselves, what issues they come across, and what support they want in the future. Listen to their input, especially since it may highlight issues within the organization or with other team members.
Be Constructive, Not Critical
There are few things worse than criticism that doesn’t offer helpful solutions to fix the issue. Employees respond best to constructive criticism that brings up the issue and offers solutions for improvement in the future. Most employees want to improve themselves and their work, but often need guidance for how they should do that. If you’re at a loss for a solution, discuss the issue with your colleagues to get ideas, then brainstorm with the employee during your feedback session.
Balance Criticism with Praise
No employee is all faults, so no employee should be treated as though they are only flawed. To maintain morale, balance criticism with praise. However, don’t fall into the compliment sandwich trap—be genuine and discuss their successes in as much detail as their issues. Detail why they are being praised, ask what resources they will need in the future to remain successful, and see if any special circumstances helped create the success condition. If you struggle to see where your employee is doing well, be aware that this reflects more on your management skills than on their work, and work harder to understand the potential your employee offers.
Business moves at a rapid-fire pace, and your employees will often move on quickly from projects or other issues. To provide the most effective feedback, ensure that you offer your employees feedback in a timely manner. Long turnaround times for feedback can make it difficult for employees to progress to the next stage of a project, to move on after a project finishes, and ultimately to grow within their role. These delays can be frustrating and demoralizing, so avoid them by offering feedback within a few days.
Be Aware of Yourself
If you are not in the right mindset, you may not give your employees the feedback they need. Be aware of your emotions, and remove them from the equation. It may help to write down your intended feedback and return to it later to ensure your thoughts on the matter are not influenced by your feelings.
Make Feedback Routine
Instead of waiting for an annual or quarterly review, make offering feedback a part of your routine as a manager. This helps your employees know what they can expect when they receive feedback, and reduces the stress of bigger employee reviews.
Providing effective feedback is just one of the many ways you can improve your managerial skills and get more from your team. With regular feedback and encouragement, your employees may surprise you with higher morale, better results, and a stronger team overall.