4 Ways to Give Feedback that’ll Generate Positive Change in your Employees
October 19, 2019
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Giving feedback to your employees is foundational to organizational success. Not only that, but many employees report wanting more feedback so they can improve and do their jobs better.
According to PWC, nearly 60% of employees report wanting feedback on a daily or weekly basis. That number jumps up to 72% for employees under the age of 30.
And employees that get constructive feedback are happier and better performing. A Gallup poll of over 65 thousand employees found that those who receive strengths feedback have 14.9% lower turnover rates than those that receive no feedback.
Feedback is clearly important to organizations and people, and delivering it with impact and effectiveness is the difference between getting an appreciative or defensive response. Here are some guidelines you can follow to give feedback in a way that’ll elicit positive change.
Do it promptly and often
The data shows employees want more feedback to become better performers. Don’t delay critical feedback that might be helpful to them. Instead, be prompt and give feedback within 24 hours of a specific situation, as the details are still fresh. Do this often too as this has the added benefit of depersonalizing feedback and creating a work environment where people can share bad news.
Make feedback specific but focus on the behavior
Successful feedback often focuses on specific behaviors and not necessarily on the person. By focusing specifically on behavior, you’re able to give feedback that describes the behaviors and actions that need to be taken to change an outcome. This depersonalizes feedback and helps the employee connect the feedback with their actions.
Give constructive praise
According to Zenger/Folkman, a leadership development agency, 37% of managers report not giving out positive feedback to their employees. That is an astounding admission. Ample research shows that giving constructive praise is key to making employees feel competent, appreciated, and like they’re growing on the job.
Focus on how not why
Focusing on “how” something happened keeps the conversation objective and actionable. “How the project failed to come together on time” is a different conversation than “why you let the project fail”. When we focus on the “why” we’re questioning people’s motivations and intentions, and that might provoke defensiveness or an emotional reaction.