Performance feedback September 22, 2008Posted by rickbron in Bronder On People, Coaching, Diagnosing performance problems, Fixing performance problems, Management, Performance issues.
Tags: corrective feedback, Feedback, feedback makes perfect, performance feedback, positive feedback, practice makes perfect
Most of us are familiar with the adage, practice makes perfect. And, most of us would be wrong! The Big Dogz know that it is feedback that makes perfect and that practice makes permanent. There are two types of feedback that you provide to an employee. The first of these is behavior feedback — that is how an employee is behaving. You generally do not give behavior feedback unless the behavior is affecting an employee’s performance or the performance of others. If the behavior is not affecting performance, you may consider asking permission to give behavior feedback. It is like giving someone advice.
The most common type of feedback you give an employee is performance feedback. Not only do you not have to ask permission to give this type of feedback, it is your responsibility and obligation to provide this feedback. Here are a few fundamental principles about performance feedback:
- Feedback is always linked to an objective. It is about a specific result you have asked the employee to achieve.
- Frequency of feedback is dependent upon the performance level of the employee. When performance is low, feedback is more frequent.
- Feedback is most effective when it is balanced. This does not mean you give them the classic “feedback sandwich” — something good, something negative and something good. Most employees know that traditional management training recommends this approach — and they flinch when the manager gives them positive feedback because they know the “but” is coming. By balanced, I mean give positive feedback as often, if not more often, than you give corrective feedback.
- Timeliness of feedback has a direct correlation to the motivational value and the learning associated with the feedback. The closer you provide feedback to the actual result, the more effective that feedback is.
- Effective feedback is consistent. That means when you give feedback, you follow a repeatable process and your employees know what to expect. In fact, after a few iterations through your feedback process, they will be able to do it themselves. Here is such a process:
• State the objective and get the employee to agree that is their objective.
• Ask for their observation on how they are doing
• Give your observation of specific data related to the objective
• If this is corrective feedback, ask, “What are you going to do?” Stay away from “What can we do?” You want them to own the action plan
• If the feedback is positive, then pursue how you could leverage this accomplishment for more visibility or opportunity for the employee.
• What help do you need from me
• Offer suggestions on how they can accomplish the objective
• Get them to summarize the action plan
• Set follow up meeting to discuss progress — to give them more feedback
• Ask them if there is anything else you they to know
• Encourage them
The Big Dogz know that by following this or a customized process like this one, your feedback skills will grow and you can help your employees become “perfect”.