The Art of Feedback

It’s not always easy to provide feedback to your employees. Here are some effective methods to have the most impact.

Continuous feedback

Employees are increasingly asking for information to be given to them on a regular basis. How do you meet their expectations? By providing them with continuous feedback, that is, by taking every opportunity to communicate with them. Managers could take advantage of a weekly meeting to congratulate their staff on achieving sales opportunities, or to take advantage of a discussion with an employee to share a behaviour to be improved. By focusing on continuous feedback, the manager will gain credibility and trust, while promoting employee development and engagement.

The “thumbs up, thumbs down” principle

For a manager, it is just as important to provide feedback as to receive it. The “thumbs up, thumbs down” principle will let employees, at a team meeting for example, share their good experiences (thumbs up) and their not-so-good experiences (thumbs down) recently experienced in the workplace. In addition to encouraging initiatives, this feedback approach will promote better communication within the work team.

The coaching conversation

This method considers the manager as a coach and aims as much at professional development of a person as reinforcement of a behaviour.

After informing the employee of the content and reasons for the feedback you wish to provide, the conversation is initiated by asking open questions. The goal is to lead the person to come up with his own solutions to maximize his performance. It ends with a game plan, validating the employee’s feelings and, if necessary, making constructive suggestions. And, most importantly, it is followed up to check the development of the plan.

Regardless of the method chosen, feedback will benefit by being adjusted to the person. Indeed, mastering the art of feedback requires a great deal of agility.

Some advice for effective feedback

Clarify your intent before providing feedback to an employee.

As far as possible, give feedback quickly following a good move or when a delicate situation arises.

Point out facts rather than perceptions: feedback must be measurable,

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