The most important aspect of giving more effective feedback actually starts long before it’s time to offer feedback: it starts with setting expectations. How would you be able to give constructive feedback if there were no expectations set? As a CEO or leader in your company, you should not assume the employee knows your expectations. This of course is an ongoing process: there are large expectations about things like behavior and job performance, and precise expectations about the needs of a particular project or report. If you’re challenged by offering clear expectations, you may want to write them down and rehearse them before delivering them to your team. Be clear and concise because it will be difficult for your employees to work under your standards if they are unsure of them. Once both parties have agreed on expectations, you have a platform to create feedback.
Once you have set clear standards, your feedback relative to them should be specific and thorough. Feedback should also be presented at a time where an employee will be receptive. If a specific employee is having a day full of meetings, they may not be as open to feedback as a day where they are less busy. Set up a time that works best for the employee. Know that approaching feedback should be a direct yet gentle process.
Know The Difference
If feedback becomes synonymous with criticism people won’t want to hear it. This means that there is a difference between opinion and feedback. Opinions are personal and should not necessarily be placed into a critique. You do not want the employee to feel attacked or the need to become defensive. Feedback will give specific examples on how to change or add things to your team’s projects or deliverables. Feedback has intention to help the team as a whole.
Make it Recurring
Incorporating feedback into regular conversation with your employees is going to make them feel more comfortable. Setting a time to discuss notes and project questions should not be something to dread – it should be constructive. If the feedback you give is delivered in a positive and growth-oriented way, your team will be open to having more sessions of discussion. You should also ask the team what they think needs to be improved to help them operate more effectively. Creating a time to hear opinions from each of the team members not only helps them feel heard, but also may provide you with much-needed insight!