Useful tips for giving good feedback to staff

There is an old saying in business, “Tell me how you will measure
Business-Trainingme and I’ll tell you how I will behave”.
This underlines the importance of feedback in the day-to-day
operations of business. 
Feedback can be used to “course-correct”
employees who perhaps can be working more productively 
and in
tune with the management’s goals. 
Feedback can also be used to
encourage employees to keep up the good work.

Understanding how to give good feedback is important because:

  • It stops small issues becoming large, disruptive ones
  • It helps build trust in working relationships
  • It promotes professional and personal growth
  • It acknowledges individual and team achievements
  • It resolves any misunderstandings

Being able to give effective feedback improves employee productivity, morale and makes the workplace more enjoyable and rewarding.

How to Give Good Feedback

1. Feedback should be helpful and supportive

Always try to ensure that the person is expecting some feedback and is ready for it. It’s worth asking them for their assessment of a situation before providing your feedback. Feedback should always be helpful and supportive, and not just used as a way to chastise and correct employees.

2. Be Specific and Sincere

It’s important that feedback remains objective at all times. Keep to the actual behavior you observed and not personality traits. “You’re much too chatty and easily distracted!” could be better expressed as “I observed you were away from your desk for long periods and I am worried about your productivity”. Avoid vague statements and inferences.

3. Be Sincere

Use” I…” statements “I saw…I heard..I felt”. Describe how the behaviour affects you and use sincerity to get your message across. Don’t give out praise if you feel it really wasn’t deserved.

4. Provide Balance

Always try to give out a balance of positive feedback and feedback for improvement. It’s always better to end with a positive comment and to encourage a response to the feedback. Remember, it is much easier to de-motivate someone than motivate them.

5. Ensure Timely Feedback

Feedback loses its effectiveness and negative if it is delivered too long after the situation under review. Don’t hold-back feedback of any kind and try to give it as close to the event as you can.

Providing Positive Feedback

Positive feedback is used for when somebody did something well. A very simple method exists for giving positive feedback:

  • Describe what the person actually did or said
  • Describe why this action was effective

Ensure the “What” and “Why” method uses the points covered above. An example could be:

“I am very happy with your improvement report and summary. It was clear, concise and has raised a number of points I will be acting on. Well done.”

Providing Feedback for Improvement

Similar to positive feedback a good approach for feedback for improvement (remember – not “negative feedback”!) is:

  • Describe what the person actually did or said
  • Show them a more effective approach
  • Explain why that would have been better

An example; “I feel your comments about the improvement report came across as sarcastic and were too general to be helpful. If you keep your reports objective and express your concerns clearly and concisely we could really use your input”.

The BSN Team