6 strategies for giving employee feedback

As a manager or leader, one of the most valuable things you can give your employees is feedback. I’m not talking about annual performance reviews.  If you had to wait a year to know how you performed, you’d quickly lose motivation and interest! I’m talking about spontaneous feedback about a specific project or piece of work, whether that’s positive or negative. 

As well as increasing morale and motivation, feedback increases self-awareness and helps us to improve our skills and be better at our jobs. Yet we know that giving effective and constructive feedback can often be difficult. 

Below are six strategies for giving successful employee feedback. 

Understand why you are offering feedback 

Giving feedback serves two purposes: 1) to improve the skills of a particular employee, or offer encouragement and motivation or 2) to improve overall business performance. If your feedback doesn’t contribute to either of these, you may need to question why you’re giving it.  Some managers can be in danger of ‘critical overload’ or feedback that is subconsciously biased towards an individual. 

Be spontaneous 

Giving feedback doesn’t have to wait for a formal meeting. It can be done spontaneously. If the feedback is negative, you need to give careful thought as to how to communicate it in a way that is constructive and what they can do to improve. But there’s nothing wrong with praising an employee off-the-cuff (and even publicly) to acknowledge their efforts and outstanding work.

Don’t assume that everyone wants positive feedback 

Some employees are highly driven and want to be challenged so they can reach their goals and higher positions within the business. Their aspiration may be to manage a team, but in order to do this, they need to stretch their skills. For those employees, constructive feedback is going to help them grow and they may require more of this type of feedback than words of encouragement. 

Give actionable feedback

When giving feedback it’s important to say specifically what they should do differently in order to improve. You should always give pointers that the employee can work on and follow up your feedback to ensure they understand what to do.

Be willing to listen 

Don’t just dish out feedback without listening to how they feel about it. They may have good reasons to disagree with you, or there could be a lack of resources in the business that has prevented them from doing their best job. 

Be empathetic 

Consider how you might feel if you were given this feedback. Is it motivating you or deflating you? What can you say that makes them feel inspired to do better? By putting yourself in their shoes, you’ll deliver the feedback gently and not overly critically. 

Giving effective feedback is not always something that comes naturally to everybody.  It is a skill that can be learnt.  If you would like help on a particular situation or how to implement a culture of continuous feedback within your organisation, contact us to find out more

Happy teams are successful teams: how to look after the wellbeing of your staff

Have you ever been part of a highly motivated, high performing and successful team? 

You’d know if you had, because you will remember feeling excited to go into work and collaborate with others.  You won’t just be showing up because you want your paycheck at the end of the month, you will genuinely love your job. 

There’s no doubt that happy, engaged teams do better work and deliver up to 50% better performance than less engaged teams, according to studies from Gallup and Deloitte. Yet all too often our efforts are focused on other areas of the business and not on the areas that matter most…our people. 

As an owner of a small business myself, I know all too well that when my employees are happy, they’ll do good work, so my focus has become less about micro-managing and more about their day-to-day happiness in their jobs and how much they enjoy their role. 

Creating engaged team cultures is not as difficult as you might think. It actually starts with engaging people: talking, involving, and listening to what they say.

Not sure where to start? Here are some simple and practical ways you can create a happy workforce and show your employees that you genuinely care: 

Your time: Set up regular catchups with each of your team members, but instead of just focusing on their performance. Ask them about their passions outside of work, what makes them tick, and other goals in life. 

By spending some time listening to what motivates them (both in and out of work), you will be able to delegate tasks that are more suited to their strengths and natural skill set. 

Give them opportunities: Find opportunities that make them feel valued and challenged. These could be attending events in your industry, charity and fundraising ideas for them to get involved with, or even getting them to share their ideas about the re-decoration of the office. 

An open door: It’s so easy to get stuck into the daily grind of what tasks need to get done, that it’s easy to lose sight that your employees may just want to offload how their feeling. Always have an open door policy and make it known that however stressed you might seem, there’s always an ear available should anyone ever need it. 

Reward: A great way to show appreciation to your team members is little treats, that may seem small to you, but can help create a real sense of camaraderie and achievement. Whether it’s walking in with a box of donuts, a delivery of flowers (if they’re working from home) or pizzas for everyone if they are working late on a project, these things show that you’re paying attention to the work that they’re doing and that you know how much it matters to the business. 

Supporting their mental health: With one in four adults experiencing mental ill-health each year, it is very likely that you will come across a colleague who is suffering from mental health issues. Knowing how to recognise that they are struggling and feeling confident about helping and supporting them is key; especially as taking early action can prevent problems escalating and help individuals to recover more quickly. 

1850 are able to equip you with the skills to help you spot and support any mental health issues your employees might be facing. We are offering a Mental Health First Aid course (2 days) and Mental Health Aware courses – either half a day or one day.

Contact us to register on our next course