This Is Part Two of Two In Our Series on Employee Feedback

Read Part One Here.

This may not come as a surprise, but most managers are not inherently good at recognizing their employees and providing positive, effective feedback. According to Gallup, only 14.5% of managers strongly agree they are good at giving feedback (oddly enough, over 50% said they felt at least some confidence in their ability to give feedback). Even if we accept to believe that these manager’s self-opinion is an accurate portrayal of their recognition efforts, it still leaves the majority of managers at a loss at how to handle giving feedback. These statistics, combined with the fact that 90% of employees are actively disengaged after receiving negative feedback (as referenced in our previous article) it’s clear that today’s workplaces have a major feedback problem.

“Only 14.5% of managers strongly agree they are good at giving feedback”

Manager to Employee Feedback

Like with any skill, leaders, can become more comfortable giving feedback while improving employee engagement.

Be weary of over-used, popular feedback methods.

Using the sandwich method, (positive, constructive, positive), for example, doesn’t work. Says Forbes, “The problem is that this model is deeply flawed. The formula is so obvious that after you use it with your employees once or twice they can see it coming. Therefore you end up training your people to hear any compliment as ‘Uh oh, what did I do this time?’” 

There are other proven methods of employee feedback, such as:

Make offering feedback more informal, more frequent, and without an agenda.

“If you’re having a feedback conversation every week, there’s less to be surprised by and more opportunity to modify your behavior,” says Ed Batista, an instructor at Stanford. 

Instead of scheduling a sit down in a boardroom, poke your head into an employee’s office (or over their cubicle) and say, “good job on organizing that conference with head-office this morning! Next time, feel free to stop by my office and have me review your touch-points so we can be even more ahead of the game.” You’re including a bit of constructive feedback, but offering to help them get better instead of simply pointing out their mistakes and expecting them to fix those weaknesses themselves. 

“If you’re having a feedback conversation every week, there’s less to be surprised by and more opportunity to modify your behavior”

Frequent Feedback

When negative feedback does come up, offer examples, and always promote a culture where employees feel comfortable asking for feedback.

If you continue to talk about feedback as a normal, benefiting part of the office, it won’t become such a scary thing when performance review time comes around. You can ask employees if they have any questions about specific tasks, offer tips that helped you when you were in their shoes, and be someone who has their office door open and welcome for staff to approach. 

Improve employee recognition in order to build employee engagement from the beginning, which improves workplace morale and focus.

One important reason the majority of managers are not good at giving positive feedback, is that they do not have the proper tools or training to deliver it to their employees efficiently and effectively. By incorporating an employee recognition or rewards program as part of your feedback regime, you’ll begin to notice that more staff strive to do well in their work, be more punctual, and even accept negative feedback as a stepping stone to achieving their best work. 

“By incorporating an employee recognition or rewards program as part of your feedback regime, you’ll begin to notice that more staff strive to do well in their work, be more punctual, and even accept negative feedback as a stepping stone to achieving their best work. “

Employee Recognition and Positive Feedback

If you missed our first article in this two part series, you can read it here.