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Providing feedback

  Posted on 09/05/2019

Keeping staff motivated is vitally important.

Recognising a member of staff’s achievements – and also providing critical feedback – can help you succeed. What are the best ways to give feedback?

Firstly, employee feedback has to be specific, not general. If someone has created something – eg a presentation – say, “I particularly like this part of your presentation because……,“ rather than “Good presentation.” Likewise, if there is something that needs to be criticised, be specific. Eg – if something wasn’t too good in a presentation, it is better to say “I didn’t like this part of the presentation because ….” Rather than “Bad presentation.”

Being specific helps an employee focus on elements that need to be addressed, whilst at the same time encourages them to be excel in areas where they are succeeding.

With your feedback, focus on specific behaviour not the person. Always be sincere and honest with your feedback, and, if your feedback is of a critical nature, offer support and suggestions on how to improve things.

Also, asking permission to provide feedback is often more powerful. “I’d like to provide some feedback on your presentation. Is that OK with you?” The natural answer to this is “Yes,” so a person is more receptive of the feedback that they receive. Timing is also important.

If you have to provide critical feedback never start with “Why,” as this naturally provokes a defensive reaction. For example , "Why did you do this?" provokes a defensive answer.  It’s better to say something like “How” – eg “How do you think this could have been made better. I would have done this – do you agree that is a better way.” If providing good feedback, say “That particular thing was really good, I thought it did this. Do you agree?”

Positive feedback involves telling someone about good performance, whilst constructive feedback is about areas that could be improved. Always focus on the action and the issue, not the person.

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