Quite possibly one of the most difficult tasks that you can have as a leader is to give those under your authority feedback on their job performance. There is always the fear that what you have to say will be taken in a negative way by your employees and cause tension or resentment. Regardless of your hesitations, giving good feedback is important to keep the team growing and working well together. Here are a few tips that will help you formulate the best possible evaluation for your employees.
Be Willing to Take Feedback: If you want to be able to give the necessary feedback that your employees and those under your authority need, then you will have to set the example. You should make it clear to others that you are open to hearing some of their ideas and observations about the business. It is important to model for others on your team a positive reaction to feedback. If an employee suggests a change that will be beneficial to the company, you should give them credit and make it known that you used the idea. This will make you more approachable when you need to evaluate your employees.
Prepare Ahead of Time: It is very important to establish a meeting with your subordinates in order to give the feedback. They should not be caught off guard and be made aware ahead of time if it is not a regularly scheduled evaluation. They will have time to feel ready for the meeting and it also gives you time to prepare your thoughts. Writing out a list of items you expect to address in the meeting is important.
It will give you the opportunity to know exactly what to say and how to address each issue. You will also have the ability to make sure you are adding in positive feedback with any negative feedback that needs to be given.
Give Specifics: Anytime you are giving feedback to employees or associates, it is best to point to specific situations. When you are vague about a person’s actions, they will easily become defensive and start picking apart your feedback. It can leave you feeling unconfident in your thoughts, and it will also not be productive for your employee. Write down incidences that come up prior to the meeting so that they are fresh in your mind. Clearly outline specific criticisms, praises, and any expectations you have out of your employee. This way they walk out of the meeting with you ready to be more productive for the company.
Have Compassion: Above all, it is vital that you have compassion for the person you are evaluating. Remind yourself of times that you have been given feedback and how difficult it is to be told things that you don’t want to hear. Put yourself in their shoes, and give them patience in regards to the way they handle the feedback.
Upon exit of the meeting, you should present your employee with an outline of what was discussed. Write down points of praise and specific areas that need to be improved upon. This way, your employee understands clearly what you expect out of them.
~ Written for us by our associate Gary Sorrell, Sorrell Associates, LLC. Copyright protected. All rights reserved.