Employee Experience

5 Best Practices for Giving Feedback Effectively

By Casey Pechan
October 29, 2015
2 minute read

The best companies today are those that foster a culture of open communication and reciprocal feedback. These kinds of companies are the ones that challenge top talent to achieve their aspirations and drive excellence through strong performance management systems and dialogue that holds people accountable.

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However, according to a survey conducted by the American Management Association, 75 percent of working professionals blame poor internal communication for hindering their organization’s growth. Additionally, CMS Wire cited data from RingCentral that showed 44 percent of upper management surveyed hope for a wider adoption of internal communication tools.

“One of the most important qualities of effective feedback is timeliness.”

At BetterWorks, we’re firm believers that highly interactive goal setting software that leverages objectives and key results is the first step toward improving internal communications. Yet tools alone are not enough. Once the right process and tools are in place, managers and executives all need to be well-equipped to deliver feedback based on performance in the most effective way possible. Here are five best practices to consider:

1. Be Timely

One of the most important qualities of effective feedback is timeliness. Don’t wait six months after an employee does excellent work on a project or makes a serious mistake. Feedback is more effective if it is given just in time, and enterprise goal platforms can help companies track and respond to progress and performance in real-time.

2. Be Specific

Effective feedback is also specific. Rather than being vague, tell employees exactly what they need to improve on and give strong feedback examples. Offer suggestions for improvement and use communication tools to illustrate exactly how a certain habit or behavior negatively or positively impacts the team.

3. Be Impactful

Feedback that paints a larger picture of company success is going to be most impactful. That’s where interactive enterprise goal platforms come in. As our white paper “How Goals are Driving a New Approach to Performance Management” pointed out, interactive goal management software helps drive more informed discussions. By showing an employee how their performance, whether positive or negative, directly affects company goals, organizations are in a better position to motivate their staff and deliver feedback effectively.

4. Be Caring

No matter what type of feedback is shared, it is important to remain compassionate and caring. Feedback should be a source of positive motivation to either improve or continue performing at an exceptional level, and the tone by which that feedback is shared can make a world of difference.

5. Be Open-Minded

A study conducted by Forbes found employees are 74 percent more engaged when managers create a reciprocal dialogue by asking employees to share feedback on their own performance. A productive conversation surrounding performance should welcome open dialogue, and the employee should have the opportunity to share their perspective of their own performance as well as any concerns or ideas for team-wide improvement they may have. Modern performance management processes that leverage goal setting software are collaborative, and feedback discussions should be, too.

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