5 Easy Tips for Giving Employee Feedback

Giving employee feedback is one of the key ways we train, reinforce, and communicate with our team members. Effective feedback motivates employees and increases their confidence in their job performance. It’s actually something team members consistently ask for on surveys about work satisfaction. Knowing how you’re doing, what you’re doing right, and what you can improve helps us feel connected to the job we do. It helps us understand how our contributions matter. And it helps build trust with our managers.

Here are 5 easy tips for giving employee feedback to boost your team’s success.

1. Feedback Matters

Focused feedback helps employees. Not only does it direct them to continue doing tasks in ways that are effective and beneficial, it also bolsters their confidence about the job they’re doing. A team member who has confidence about his role in the company is a happier employee. Happy employees work harder and stay with an employer longer. I know this may sound cheesy, but I still believe that “feedback is the breakfast of champions” because you can’t improve, if you don’t know what you could improve.

2. Frequency Matters

It’s tempting to focus our efforts giving feedback on annual reviews, and those may be important tools. There are hundreds of workdays between those annual reviews, though. Employees will experience more consistent growth, more energy on the job, and more motivation when they receive feedback on a much more frequent basis. The new trend is more about frequent, on-the-spot, micro feedbacks. Ideally, more positive than negative if possible. Remember the chapter in The One-Minute Manager: “Catch Them Doing Something Right”!

3. Timing Matters

Giving consistent employee feedback may take some time to get used to. We tend to get focused on tasks and deadlines more easily than on the people making those deadlines successful. To build a habit of offering regular feedback, identify some key moments where feedback doesn’t interrupt workflow or embarrass a team member. For example, one great opportunity for feedback is following a team meeting. If the feedback is relevant to the whole team, add it to the meeting agenda. If it’s specific to one team member or a small contingent of the group, ask those individuals to remain behind as the meeting closes.

4. Celebrate, Don’t Manipulate

In his book, Nonviolent Communication, author and psychologist Marshall B. Rosenberg discusses his approach to expressing appreciation. His concern with some forms of positive feedback is that employees can lose their motivation if they feel that a manager or leader complimented them in order to manipulate them. Instead, he recommends expressing appreciation with three specific components. First, express what specific action the team member completed that made a positive difference. Next, explain how you felt in reaction to those actions. Last, this is how those actions met a need.

The order is less important than ensuring the components of the appreciation are present. Remember authentic recognition creates a powerful boost to people’s morale.

5. Critical Feedback

Giving positive feedback feels great and leaves everyone smiling. What about when the feedback is less wonderful?

Remember your goal. Correcting an employee is not about shaming them for choices they made. It’s about redirecting their energy to methods or behaviors that will make the employee and the team overall more successful.

Be specific about the behavior you want altered. Explain how the change helps the team. This is especially important if the change adds more work or is a lengthier process for the team member.

Deepen Your Knowledge with The Art of Feedback and Difficult Conversations Training Session

Giving effective feedback creates a motivated, confident, and successful team, but it doesn’t happen accidentally. Learn how to boost your employees’ confidence through positive feedback. Get the best strategies and solutions for handling difficult situations.

Contact us now to schedule a comprehensive training session on The Art of Feedback.