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7 easy ways to give employee feedback

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Many employers miss the opportunity to provide constructive criticism because they wish to avoid confrontation. We’re here to guide you through the steps to becoming a leader who is a coach: providing feedback and helping employees do a great job.

There are many reasons why employers and managers avoid the opportunity to improve their employee’s performance:

  • Fear the employee will quit
  • Frustration that a trained employee is still making mistakes
  • Belief it’s just a one-off and won’t happen again
  • Feeling they’re too angry to deal with the situation right at that minute

All of those reasons are valid, but unfortunately they get rolled out every time an employee makes a mistake, meaning nothing ever improves.

Here’s how to give good feedback to your employees:

  1. Identify the employee behaviour that is causing concern; for example: the wrong tool being used for a job.
  2. Be prepared to explain why your practice is the best one. Find a business reason to back up your request. “Because I said so!” is not an effective reason in this situation.
  3. Be specific about when you’ve observed the behaviour. Feedback works best when it’s not generalized. Avoid saying “you always…” or “you never…”
  4. Clearly state what you want the employee to do to improve their behaviour, and when you want it to start.
  5. Ask the employee for compliance. Many people miss this step, but it is important to the overall success of the feedback.
  6. Wait for the employee to answer. If they have any questions or objections, this is their time to raise them. Listen carefully; a good leader will learn from their employee. 
  7. Thank your employee. Make sure your employee knows you appreciate the work they do, and the fact they had this conversation with you. 

Carefully following these steps will lead to a productive feedback meeting – and make the process easier for both of you next time the occasion arises.