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:
- Identify the employee behaviour that is causing concern; for example: the wrong tool being used for a job.
- 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.
- Be specific about when you’ve observed the behaviour. Feedback works best when it’s not generalized. Avoid saying “you always…” or “you never…”
- Clearly state what you want the employee to do to improve their behaviour, and when you want it to start.
- Ask the employee for compliance. Many people miss this step, but it is important to the overall success of the feedback.
- 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.
- 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.