Research shows that most employees want feedback – they want to know how they’re doing – but many managers are doing a poor job of giving it to them. Why is that?
Here are some reasons why managers avoid providing performance feedback:
1. Lack of know-how.
Providing employees with honest and useful performance feedback is not so easy. It requires insight, skill, and maturity that many supervisors lack.
2. An orientation toward evaluation rather than development.
Many managers incorrectly assume that their job is to judge rather than to help employees improve.
3. Fear of retribution.
Supervisors worry that if they provide negative feedback, their employees will lose their motivation, argue with them, or try to retaliate against them in some way.
4. False belief: “It’s not my job.”
Many mistakenly think that their job is only to meet production and expense goals, not to develop employees. Nothing could be further from the truth.
So how can you as a supervisor, team leader or manager do a better job?
Here are five tips to become more competent and confident in giving feedback.
1. Catch people in the act.
Feedback is most effective when it is given immediately following a behavior.
2. Focus on behavior, not traits.
Feedback should be a discussion of specifically-observed behavior rather than an evaluation of employee’s personality. For example, it is much more effective to say, “you did a great job proofreading the report yesterday and catching those typos” than it is to say, “you have very good attention to detail.”
3. Do it regularly not once a year.
In order to be effective, performance feedback needs to be conducted throughout the year so that you can monitor and recognize progress.
4.Conduct coaching discussions, not lectures.
Supervisors should talk about the behavior they have observed, but also ask employees for their views of areas where improvements can be made.
Supervision Success Tip:
Your role should be as a coach not judge. Concentrate on shaping and motivating people’s behavior instead of grading it. The time for evaluation is during performance reviews not coaching sessions. Also see Employee Coaching: Three Madeleine To Make It Work and Employee Coaching: Get The Results You Want
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- Copyright © 2012 Marcia Zidle business and leadership coach.