From my work experience, managers or team leads do not know how to give continuous feedback, in the organizations that I worked in, it seems that the managers are lacking in leadership skills in giving feedback to employees, and they do not see that feedback is part of being a good leader. The few ones that do give continuous feedback do they actually give feedback often enough? Probably not.
Most employees think their managers aren’t giving enough feedback. The result? We’re missing a huge opportunity to further engage our employees, and we may unintentionally driving them out the door. What do we need to stop people from leaving and effectively give frequent, helpful feedback?
Never just say ‘great work’ Great work on what?
Treat it as an ongoing dialogue. Feedback should happen often and be considered a regular part of your relationship with your employees. At least, it should happen a few times a month.
Get involved, jump on opportunities, it’s better to give feedback while the details are fresh in both your minds. When a situation requires constructive criticism, discussing it immediately helps the employee avoid repeating the behavior—and allows you to keep up an air of calm objectivity later when it comes time to deliver more comprehensive overall feedback.
Use the “PCP sandwich”: Positive-Constructive-Positive. Start out the conversation by acknowledging something positive that the person has done recently, follow with constructive criticism, then return to something positive.
Always be specific. Never just say “great work” Great work on what? Is the software code written? The client’s feedback on a project? Employees need to know, specifically, what they did and didn’t do well to progress. give the feedback while fresh in your mind.
Discuss behaviors, not characteristics. When giving feedback, make sure to identify the behavior (e.g., “I noticed you hesitated several times during the client meeting”) vs. highlighting a personal characteristic (e.g., “You were hesitant during the client meeting”). The first lends itself to the discussion; the second sounds like an accusation.
Collaborate on solutions, then follow up. Brainstorm with your employees on how to get a better result. Offer suggestions and ask them to do the same. Then check-in at regular intervals and acknowledge specific improvements.
Above all, listen. After you give feedback ask, “How does that sound?” or “What are your thoughts?” Then listen to the response. You need to work on making sure your employees succeed, give them the time for feedback, give them time to make them succeed.
I took inspiration from the sports by having the employees working for me on a roster sheet. I knew the strength and weaknesses of each one, I made sure that they were trained in the area of their weakness, so my team would be strong, I knew if I could get 4-6 years of their expertise to deliver the project work we were responsible for, I had succeeded.
I saw myself more as a coach than a manager and gave the employees constant feedback. Eventually, employees move to another position in the same organization or to another company, then they become part of your working social network, you never know when you need a helping hand or actually end up working for one of our previous employees.
What is your view on giving continuous feedback?