Employees now have an increased role in developing strong customer relationships that inspire loyalty and performance. Therefore, employees need to have the best skills, use sound judgment and feel competent in their jobs. They need information about the quality of their decisions. Managers should monitor employees and provide positive feedback to sustain their performance.
Effective performance feedback shouldn’t damage the manager/employee relationship. So how do guarantee all feedback will focus on behaviors and performance? Follow these five steps:
Step 1: Start with a positive comment. No one likes to hear about something that needs improving with a strong or reprimanding statement. Feedback is about people, behavior and emotions. So start each performance feedback with a positive comment that shows respect and understanding to your employee. It will draw that person into the discussion about how he or she can improve.
Step 2: Describe what’s currently happening, the behavior you want to reinforce and the specific situations where you observed that the behavior needed feedback. It’s important to be specific, brief and direct.
Step 3: Describe the impact and consequences of the current behavior, noting the effect it had on results, customers or employees. The more detailed and accurate the information, the more meaningful the feedback will be. Realize that no adult changes his or her behavior unless he or she sees a personal reason to change.
Step 4: Create a plan with your employee to continue positive behavior or change negative behavior. Work with the employee to suggest options and make sure they have a voice in the process. The more the employee invents his or her responses, the more he or she owns the results.
Step 5: Regardless of the nature of the performance feedback (negative or positive), employees will process the message better when it starts and ends on a positive and personal tone. Be sure to reassure the employee of the value of the discussion in the feedback. It’ll set the stage for an open and honest relationship.
Feedback is one of the most significant tools that managers have to help guide, coach and instruct employees to continually grow, make extra effort and improve performance. Managers catch employees doing great things and applaud them. Managers catch employee performance problems and use them to improve performance and win employees back. Employees want feedback – so be sure to provide the right kind of feedback that builds their skills, confidence and commitment to perform at their best.