Don't Shy Away From the F Word... Feedback
Updated: Dec 4, 2020
Although employees are capable of managing themselves and working independently, managers should give useful and timely feedback to improve the quality of work and performance. Giving proper feedback is an instrumental step towards strengthening a company’s workforce. According to ClearCompany, a website for statistics and solutions, 92% of survey respondents agreed that “Negative (redirecting) feedback, if delivered appropriately, is effective at improving performance.” This statistic demonstrates that feedback fosters personal and professional growth in the work environment, leading to productivity increases in the long run.
Effective feedback motivates employees to work better because it shows them that their work is recognized as essential to the company’s success. This pandemic has created an environment that is unfamiliar to all of us, and as we adapt to working and interacting in a remote era, feedback plays an even more critical role. Team supervisors and managers must get creative with how and when they provide that feedback. Establishing structure for providing and receiving feedback ensures that our well-intentioned critiques are truly helping those we strive to serve.
1. How to give feedback.
What modes of communication are most effective? Should I provide feedback in a group setting or one-on-one?
There are many modes of virtual communication in today’s work environment; however, the most effective of them all are video chat rooms like Zoom or Google Hangouts, as well as instant messaging like email, text message, Slack, and Facebook. Although instant messaging is great for maintaining regular feedback, words can easily be misinterpreted without body language, tone, and facial expressions. Using video to communicate feedback is imperative for establishing a human connection with your employees. Isolation leads to loneliness, so ensure that your
team has a friendly face and voice to accompany all of the constructive feedback you provide. One-on-one video meetings allow managers to see how each employee is faring on an emotional level, given our current circumstances.
2. When to give feedback.
How often should I provide feedback to my employees? When is it appropriate to use instant messaging vs. one-on-one communication? How do I adapt my feedback to make it as relevant as possible?
Research from multiple sources reveals that frequent communication and feedback results in higher employee engagement and morale. The pandemic has placed us in a situation where employee engagement and morale could be at low points, so it is essential that management provide timely feedback to employees as frequently as possible. Schedule daily feedback sessions with employees and positively reinforce each employee’s work. Using video to engage with your employees is essential to maintaining transparent communication and trust. Aim to increase the frequency of one-on-one interactions at least once a week to make sure that your employees are on the right track. Adapt your feedback to be more results-oriented with increased flexibility on how to reach your goals. Remember: to keep your team’s morale high, cherish your employees’ work because in turn, they will produce high quality results.
Productive companies interact with their employees transparently and efficiently. With guided support and recognition, workers will know what to do and will be satisfied that their work is acknowledged and appreciated. Employees will also be grateful for the opportunity to improve their work to the best degree possible. Following the structure of providing timely feedback, both written and oral, will help the workforce develop and strengthen.