In a workplace context, quality feedback is extremely crucial. It primarily functions as a method of strengthening communication between and among employees and the management. If well exploited, feedback acts as an instrument for facilitating a strong workplace culture governed by meaningful internal relations. Besides, quality feedback nurtures room for improved productivity and career growth. Quality feedback can be gathered through frequent formal surveys, internal suggestion mechanisms and informal means (ordinary conversations with employees). This article shares several strategies on how to make good use of feedback in the workplace.
1. Give feedback on time
Feedback is of no use if it is communicated late as it will hardly make any impact on employees. Majority of employees will not understand what it implies hence ignore it. For example, if an employee’s performance is overly poor and the matter is raised after several months, it will be irrelevant. The employee in question will not see any need for change. Employees should be timely and frequently informed about their progress. The earlier employees are informed of their shortcomings, the sooner the process of working on them. On the other hand, if feedback is positive, it will make more sense to the employees when delivered on time.
2. Adopt a positive angle
This is not say that feedback should not point out the wrongs done by individuals. However, feedback should endeavor to be positive as much as possible. It is out of positive feedback that employees become more motivated and dedicated to the organization.
3. Give constructive feedback
The approach used in giving feedback that is rather negative impacts on how the affected person perceives it. The timing is also an important factor to consider. Giving negative feedback when an employee is going through a rough phase in life demoralizes him or her. It should be communicated when the concerned employee is in a good emotional state. Further, a manager who makes comments that sound demeaning makes employees feel intimidated or put down. Thus unpleasant feedback should be dealt with in a diplomatically and assume a constructive criticism perspective. When conveying negative feedback, effort has to be put in offering ways on how an employee can work on his or her weaknesses. The main aim should be to encourage an employee to improve on their skills and abilities through mentorship and coaching.
4. Gracefully accept negative feedback
This strategy focuses on the person receiving the negative feedback. Most employees do not handle negative feedback well. They tend to think of it entirely as an intimidation tool. But this a largely misguided perspective. Negative feedback does not mean that employees are unsuitable for their respective roles. To embrace negative feedback and learn from it, it is important for employees to do the following:
· Listen attentively to the issues being raised and derive value.
· Avoid becoming reactive and defensive.
· Probe further about what was not done according to the desired expectations.
· Admit the errors made.
· Carefully think about the matter before giving any opinion.
5. Give precise feedback
Feedback is well received when it articulates the exact objective. Plainly letting an employee know their work is remarkable is not enough form of appreciation. In fact, such feedback conveys a degree of ambiguity. Instead, telling an employee they have done remarkable work by giving a certain score or percentage is way better.
6. Inquiry more
Feedback is not a one-time process. It ought to be a continuous process for it to prove useful in the workplace. It also has to be a two way process by involving the participation of both employees and management. Productive feedback is attained through one on one interactive sessions. In these sessions, discussions in form of questions and responses should occur between employees and management. The questions should be perceived as a learning opportunity for each party involved. They should be used as a foundation of inculcating motivation among employees. For example a manger can ask questions such as:
· Which goals did we achieve as was planned initially?
· Which areas proved difficult to handle?
· How can the management improve on your working conditions?
These questions stimulate employees to open up more on how to improve the organization. Employees also experience the urge to improve on their individual performance.
To wrap up, when quality feedback is enshrined in the workplace, it enhances productive and mutual relationships. As a result, overall organizational success is enhanced.