It might not seem important, but it is: Employees want to know whether they’re doing a good job and, if there’s room for improvement, they want to know how to make things better. Your words, as a manager and leader, matter and can make a real difference.
Here’s how to effectively give your employees feedback and why it matters more than you might realize.
Understand that delivery is everything.
If all employees hear is negativity, criticism, and something that could be perceived as an insult, they will tune you out. The way you speak to employees, either one-on-one or in a group setting, is as important as what you say. By nature, most people want to make others happy and want to do well at work. Your tone, when providing criticism, should be constructive, helpful and open, uplifting and compassionate instead of detached, negative, and critical. You don’t have to sound fake; sincerity and compassion are key.
Be honest and mean what you say.
If one of your employees is having a hard time, call them aside and have a conversation. Talk about what’s going wrong and where the problems are. Discuss how they can make things better and then work with them to make progress. If you offer to help, follow through. Managers are leaders and have an obligation to try, maybe several times, to bring their employees up to a successful level in line with their coworkers. This is doubly true if the employee wants to make adjustments and is eager to improve.
Be specific and provide examples.
If one of your employees is having a problem with a certain task or has demonstrated troubling behavior, talk to them about it. Don’t call them out in public; have a personal conversation about the situation. Talk about a specific incident or pattern that has been noticed. Ask if there’s something going on in their personal life that has made them distracted or if there’s a problem at work that needs to be addressed. This way, the employee will know exactly what you’re talking about and will have the opportunity to explain things. Speaking in general, overarching terms won’t help matters any; be as precise as possible.
Give praise too!
Not all feedback is negative, despite what most people might think. You can give employees compliments, shout out their wins and successes and let them know you’re proud of what they’ve done and how far they’ve come. People who feel appreciated and recognized for their work, especially if they’ve previously struggled, can make a world of difference to an employee. People who know their work is noticed are less likely to look for a new job elsewhere and are more likely to take ownership of their work and try to encourage others.
Most people spend more time at work than they do with their families and/or friends. If work is a time when employees feel stressed, frustrated, or ignored, they won’t work as hard, won’t care as much, and won’t have the same can-do attitude they will if they know they can do better and will be recognized for working hard to make a change. Your feedback can make or break an employee’s relationship with your company — make it beneficial for everyone!
If you need further advice on how to provide good, useful feedback to your employees, or if it’s time to hire new ones, call Debbie’s Staffing. We have great candidates standing by waiting to join a team like yours, and we can help you understand what works and what doesn’t when it comes to motivating employees. Contact Debbie’s Staffing today, and let’s start making a real difference.