There are many factors that play pivotal roles in the success of just about any type of business and startup. One of those factors is feedback.
Businesses value feedback from customers, but often overlook feedback to and from their own employees. But constrictive feedback from employees and workers is just as important for the continued success of your business.
Feedback works as an outlet for people's expectations and frustrations. Without it there can exist grumbling within the team that hinders the smooth running of business operations.
Essentially, feedback helps both workers and employers with expressing their frustrations, as well as jubilation for the way work is done. It can help with fixing mistakes made, while also acknowledging good work to build better cohesion and individuals’ confidence to do better.
But most businesses and entrepreneurs don't provide enough feedback to their teams, and when they do, it is either too negative or too vague. That makes the attempt at feedback to fall short.
The Art of Giving Feedback to Workers and Employees
Positive feedback isn’t hard to give. You just have to use positive words to help employees feel valued. That can include appreciating good work and highlighting an employee’s strengths to generate a sense of recognition, motivation and achievement, which is usually not hard to do.
Mainly, giving positive feedback is about telling employees that they’re doing a great job, or even congratulating them individually when they meet a goal with positive, warm and reassuring words, such as “Great job!” “Well, done!” or “Keep up the good work!”
Now, dishing out praise is the easy part, but there are going to be moments where constructive feedback is negative and the painful truth needs to be told plainly. You always want to look to confront what’s happening wrong early in order to improve the situation. Your employees won’t be able to improve what they are doing if they don’t know when they are making mistakes.
So, when it comes to giving constructive feedback that’s positive you won’t have too much of a hard time. But giving negative feedback can be a little more tricky, because you don’t want to crash the morale of employees or discourage and demotivate workers on their jobs.
Also, many people find it difficult to point out negative realities when trying to address a problem. You could just let it go, but doing that could ultimately lead to a bigger problem. That is something that you really don’t want to happen because it could cause irreparable damage.
To make it easier for you to give negative feedback, foster a workplace culture where employers are encouraged to freely give both positive and negative feedback. Tell them as much, and even encourage use of employee feedback apps to help them easily and conveniently give their feedback on anything without fear of retaliation or any adverse repercussions.
When workers know they are allowed to give constrictive feedback freely, and they do it regularly without hesitation, they’ll be more receptive and open to receive the same.
Some issues may be minor compared to others, but because you have created a workplace culture of speaking openly about issues, you’ll be able (and even expected) to offer truthful feedback on even minor issues and that feedback will be accepted positively by everyone.
Tips for Giving and Receiving Workplace Feedback
Once you have made it clear to workers and employees that receiving and giving feedback is good and encouraged, and discussing employee performance is considered necessary and appropriate, you have to ensure that this feedback is delivered in a proper manner.
If feedback is not handled right, things can get worst instead of better. If it’s done right, then you can be sure positive things will happen in the workplace and business. People will be motivated to improve and work better for the growth of the business. You’ll create an environment that will be perfect for individual workers to grow and teams and employees to thrive.
So, to make sure that this is going to happen, you are going to want to keep two solid facts in mind. By doing so, you will be paving the way to a work environment full of positive, game-changing energy and feedback.
1. Always Focus on Performance and Not Personality When Giving Feedback
You can’t expect any feedback to be accepted if it is given in a way that is confrontational, insulting or attacks the character of the recipient. Employee feedback should be given in the most positive way possible, which means focusing on performance, not personality.
When feedback is delivered in a positive manner, even when addressing a negative issue that needs to be corrected, it stimulates the brain and opens a learning opportunity to make improvements. This is why positive feedback is so important. It leads to solid improvement.
Poor delivery of feedback can only escalate the situation even further, making things worse.
Now, you don’t have to completely avoid negative or directive feedback about something that concerns someone’s behavior. In fact, you should address all issues that affect performance and other aspects of the business in a thoughtful and considerate manner. That can include calling out team members for their behavioral shortcoming when you see them in action.
When addressing workers behavioral issues, try to catch them in the moment to mitigate possible denials. The more specific you are, the better. Offer advice for behavior improvements in a way that makes it clear to them why it’s necessary to change for improved performance, and always follow up with the worker to mark progress on suggested solutions.
2. There’s a Right Place & Time for Giving Feedback
When looking to give any kind of feedback to an employee, you want to be sure to pick the right time and place before doing so. There are two ways you can make this happen: being formal or informal. You can formally schedule a time to talk, or you can pull them aside to the breakroom for a quick chat. Depending on what the initial feedback is about, you can easily prepare properly.
Explain the reason for the feedback, all the while trying to understand the emotions the recipient may be feeling. Pay attention to their body language and facial expressions to try and decipher how they are taking the feedback. Ask yourself how would you want to hear the kind of feedback you are giving. Make sure you deliver that feedback in an appropriate place, time, and in the most respectful and considerate tone for it to be received well and acted on.
Ultimately, ensure you give and receive feedback as necessary without delay, so that positive changes can be effected sooner rather than later for the betterment of the business and everyone else involved, including the workers, managers and customers. You’ll all be better for it.
Remember, how you say things is just as important as what you’re saying.