Feedback is a key management’s tool. It helps both managers and employees to develop themselves. However, delivering feedback successfully is not an easy exercise. It requires practice and an excellent understanding of this managerial practice.
Discover tips to successful feedbacks through our article.
What is Feedback?
This managerial tool appeared in the 1960s in the United States. Before discovering tips to deliver feedback, it is essential to have a better understanding of what we mean by It.
Definition and structure of feedback
Feedback cannot be improvised.
It is a communication technique aimed at developing your employees. It consists of giving your interlocutors information about the quality of their work.
Be careful, feedback is something you have to prepare for!
You cannot give one without first structuring it. It must be relevant and constructive for the person you are dealing with. Choice of words, framework, content and the form are very important. It is a very complete exercise. Your attitude and sincerity will be of paramount importance to the recipient.
In order to deliver successful feedback, you have to respect 3 steps:
- Positive points: Develop the positive aspects of an employee’s work on a specific case. This first step is essential and enables a benevolent and constructive stance to be adopted.
- Points for improvement: This step should highlight the employee’s areas for improvement, all in a benevolent frame of mind. This phase requires managerial courage. Indeed, nobody likes to hear what they have to improve.
- Seek for solutions: The last stage of feedback is the most important. Thanks to it the feedback becomes constructive. It is necessary to propose courses of action and solutions to be put in place to develop the employee.
The different types of feedback
Feedback is meant to be constructive, whether positive or corrective. It can be given by and to anyone in the company. It must also show some form of recognition to motivate the employee. A point that is too often neglected.
Positive feedback is a way of congratulating the person you are talking to about a skill or the quality of their work. It creates a positive working dynamic. It is a healthy habit to encourage in work teams.
Example: Congratulations on your presentation. You were clear and relevant. I really liked the way you presented.
Corrective feedback is a more complicated exercise than the previous one. You need to be able to give constructive and non-negative feedback to the other person. The objective is to highlight what employees have done well and to work with them to find solutions to improve what can be improved.
Example: Well done! Your presentation yesterday was great. I understand what you meant, although I think it lacked a bit of clarity. I didn’t manage to understand the issues you wanted to highlight. What do you think about it? How could you express it differently?
Delivering feedback successfully in 6 key points
Delivering feedback successfully is not innate. It takes a bit of courage, but also a lot of training. Discover our 6 key points.
Choose the right timing
Feedback cannot be improvised; it has to be prepared. Don’t react on the spot. After a meeting or a presentation, you can always write a short note to your employees to congratulate them. But the real feedback must be given later. Isolate yourself in a quiet place with your interlocutor for a time that suits both parties. This is an important moment. Allow enough time so that you do not rush your exchange and make sure that your employees understand how they can improve.
Contextualise your speech by detailing the situation that gave rise to the feedback. The more precise the facts, the less subject to interpretation your explanation will be. This will also allow employees to better project themselves in the situation. Avoid generalisations and value judgements. By referring to the facts your feedback will be even more relevant.
Use the “I” word
Express your feelings using “I”. Your remark is personal. It must be authentic and caring. Use the vocabulary of emotions to get your message across. This will underline the impact it has on you. Authenticity, sincerity and caring are essential elements for delivering feedback successfully.
Adapt your speech
We do not give feedback in the same way depending on the person we are dealing with. The Age, experience and role must be taken into account. Indeed, long term employees tend to seek constructive criticism, which stimulates and challenges them. New employees need to be reassured and to know what they are doing well in order to continue to develop.
Open dialogue with your conversation partner is essential to deliver feedback successfully. It is very important to know how your employees feel about the feedback you are giving them. In addition to the relief of being able to express themselves, they will also be able to bring you elements that might have escaped you. Active listening and rephrasing can also help you in finding a solution that satisfies both parties. Collective search for solutions allows your feedback to be constructive.
Feedback is a difficult exercise, but carried out regularly, it engages your employees professionally. Too many managers are satisfied with the annual performance review only. Opt instead for a culture of regular feedback with your employees in order to create a dynamic of continuous development. Recognition and appreciation at work is one of the keys to employee motivation. Therefore, make feedback a new habit!
There are many advantages to delivering feedback successfully
Correctly communicated feedback has many advantages for both the employee and the manager.
Indeed, a successful feedback allows a better understanding of the brakes and drivers of your employees in order to find solutions adapted to each one. Employees will be better able to understand the expectations of their manager. Managers must make sure that their instructions are understood and can set in place a continuous improvement process.
According to a Gallup study, 40% of employees say they are disengaged from their work when they do not receive feedback, while 43% of the most committed employees receive regular feedback from their manager. Getting feedback is therefore an excellent way to motivate your teams. Recognition and appreciation are one of the pillars of professional commitment.
Finally, feedback establishes a relationship of trust between managers and employees. Indeed, an open, authentic and caring discussion helps to break down divides and creates a positive dynamic.
Feedback is an excellent managerial tool to develop your staff and build a relationship of trust with your team. In order to deliver feedback successfully, some rules must be respected. There should be no room for improvisation. It is essential to prepare your feedback beforehand and not to react on the spot. To ensure the success of your next feedback, remember the 6 key points:
- Choose the right timing
- Be specific
- Use the “I” word
- Adapt your speech
- Open the dialogue
- Be regular