Effective feedback is an important part of any organizational structure. It helps to facilitate growth and development, foster better relationships, and increase motivation.
But feedback can also be a tricky thing to get right, and if done wrong, can result in decreased motivation, decreased productivity, and a lack of trust between employees and management. That’s why it’s important to understand how to give effective feedback and the different models or frameworks available for doing so.
Feedback is defined as “information about reactions to a product, a person’s performance of a task, etc. which is used as a basis for improvement.” In the context of the workplace, feedback is a form of communication between employers and employees, with the purpose of providing insight into how the employee is performing in the role, and how they can improve.
Benefits of Effective Feedback
Giving effective feedback can have many positive impacts on an organization. It can help to foster a better working environment, increase employee motivation and engagement, and ultimately lead to better performance. When employees feel that their work is valued and that their contributions are being acknowledged, it can lead to increased job satisfaction and a greater sense of loyalty and commitment to the organization.
Additionally, effective feedback can lead to an improvement in productivity and the development of new skills.
It also helps to create an open and honest dialogue between employers and employees. When feedback is given in a constructive way that takes into consideration the employee’s feelings and perspectives, it can help to build trust and strengthen the relationship between them.
Downsides of Feedback
Although feedback can be extremely beneficial, there are some potential downsides to giving it. If feedback is given in a negative or overly critical way, it can have a negative impact on morale and motivation.
Additionally, if feedback is given without taking into account the employee’s feelings or perspectives, it can lead to feelings of resentment and a lack of trust between the employer and employee.
1. Be specific: Give feedback that is specific and relevant to the situation. Avoid using general statements such as “good job” or “you need to do better”.
2. Focus on actions and behaviors: Give feedback that focuses on the actions or behaviors of the person rather than their character.
3. Don’t be judgmental: Avoid making judgmental statements such as “you are wrong”. Instead, focus on what you’d like to see done differently.
4. Address the behavior: Focus on the behavior and not the person when giving feedback.
5. Provide evidence: Where possible, provide evidence to support your feedback.
6. Be timely: Give feedback as soon as possible after the situation has occurred.
7. Be open and honest: Give feedback in an open and honest manner.
8. Be constructive: Be sure to focus on the positives and provide constructive criticism.
9. Be consistent: Give feedback in a consistent way so that it is seen as a normal part of communication.
10. Listen: Allow the recipient to give their response and listen to what they have to say.
Evaluation is difficult, and it needs considerable thinking and effort. Instead of approaching feedback conversations as one-and-done, follow up with your direct report and express respect when you notice progress. This will demonstrate your concern for their success and encourage them to keep up the excellent work.
For some people, it might be difficult to receive feedback. Here are some tips.
1. Listen and Ask Questions: One of the most important tips for receiving feedback is to listen carefully and ask questions. Be open to constructive criticism, and ask questions to better understand the feedback. This will help ensure that you fully understand the feedback and can use it to improve.
2. Show Appreciation: It’s important to show appreciation for the feedback you receive. Thank the person for taking the time to provide feedback, and let them know that you value their opinion. This will help build trust and open communication.
3. Take Notes: Taking notes while receiving feedback will help you remember key points and take action on the feedback. You can use the notes to make changes or plan tasks to complete.
4. Request Clarification: If you don’t understand something, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification. You may need to ask questions to get a better understanding of the feedback.
5. Seek Out Feedback: Don’t be afraid to seek out feedback on your own. Ask peers or mentors for their opinions and advice. This will give you a better understanding of how to improve.
Feedback Models or Frameworks
There are several different models or frameworks for giving effective feedback. The most commonly used are the feedback sandwich, the STAR model, and the GROW model.
The Feedback Sandwich is a model that involves sandwiching a criticism between two compliments. This allows the employee to feel valued and appreciated while still receiving constructive criticism.
As a manager, I once called a team meeting and one of the members was falling behind due to procrastinating. I complimented him on his work so far, then I gave feedback about his falling behind. At the end I complimented him for being honest about it and offered him help with the next step.
The STAR model is a model that focuses on the Situation, Task, Action, and Result. It helps to provide more specific and actionable feedback by focusing on the results of the employee’s actions.
The GROW model is a model that focuses on Goals, Reality, Options, and Will. This model helps to ensure that feedback is more focused on the future and on helping the employee to develop their skills and reach their goals.
Giving effective feedback is an important part of any organizational structure. It can help to foster a better working environment, increase employee motivation and engagement, and ultimately lead to better performance. But it’s important to understand how to give effective feedback and the different models or frameworks available for doing so.
“The Feedback Book: How to Give, Receive and Ask for Feedback” by Douglas Stone, Sheila Heen and Bruce Patton: This book provides an in-depth look at the different models and frameworks for giving effective feedback, as well as advice on how to give, receive and ask for feedback.
“The Art of Giving and Receiving Feedback” by Bob Eichinger and Michael Moxley: This book provides a comprehensive overview of the different models for giving feedback, as well as practical tips and advice for how to give and receive feedback in the workplace.
“The Power of Feedback” by Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall: This book provides an in-depth look at the different models and frameworks for giving feedback, as well as advice on how to use feedback to foster a better working environment and increase employee engagement.