As an employer, providing feedback is an essential and expected part of your position. Your employees rely on you to acknowledge when they’ve done something well and need you to provide feedback to help them grow. With this, it’s important to avoid drifting away from feedback and into criticism. Use the following considerations when providing feedback to employees to make it effective and beneficial.
Don’t make it personal
What you say should focus on an action, not the person. As soon as an employee feels attacked, they will become defensive and won’t respond well to you. Even worse, making feedback about how you perceived someone’s intentions can lead to an uncomfortable conversation where your employee is hurt. Always focus on a specific behavior at work that can be addressed and corrected.
Make sure change is possible
Similar to addressing the behavior, you need to make sure there are actionable steps the employee can take to improve where necessary. Instead of making it constructive, feedback becomes criticism and may leave your employee feeling confused and offended.
Be careful not to offer unsolicited advice or feedback where it potentially isn’t wanted. Encourage your employees to ask for feedback, or when approaching an employee, ask if they’re okay with receiving the feedback.
Be consistent and sincere
Offering random feedback out of the blue can seem insincere and cause an employee to question your motives. Make it a regular part of your work life to offer both positive and negative feedback. Also, check your motives before talking to your team. If it isn’t out of a real desire to help, they will see right through your words.
It’s important to give the feedback as close to the event as possible. Waiting until later dulls the incident and may lose impact.
After providing feedback, discuss the matter with the employee later and watch for improvements. Make sure the necessary changes are made. Plus following up shows you’re engaged with your team.
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