By: Bruce Bastoky

When given properly, feedback can be an extremely valuable tool in helping your team achieve its goals. Feedback can correct bad behaviors, yes, but it can also inspire, form stronger bonds and even motivate employees.

The best feedback, research shows, is optimistic and honest. A recent Gallup poll found 67 percent of employees who said they were fully engaged at work had a manager who focused on their strengths, as opposed to 31 percent of employees who said their manager focuses mostly on their weaknesses.

While a positive emphasis is important, feedback also needs to be honest. If employees aren’t held to a certain standard and only receive positive feedback, praise will start to lose its effectiveness and employees may get confused about what success in their role truly looks like.

Stop Taking Good Work for Granted

Are you taking any of your employees’ contributions for granted? It’s easy to call out and recognize the top performers on your team, but you also need to appreciate the steady, everyday contributions from other employees.

Try to come up with a list of overlooked contributions and start calling out staff members when you see them making those contributions. The more specific your praise is and the more you catch employees in the moment, the better.

In giving this feedback, or any feedback for that matter, take note of what recognition is important to a person. Some employees are happy with a simple pat on the back in private. Others really like to be singled out for their good works in front of a crowd.

Hold One-on-One Coaching

Schedule one-on-one meetings to tell every team member what you want them to continue doing and what you want them to stop. For even more meaningful feedback, make a list of simple actions each team member can do to boost their performance and earn even more recognition. For instance, you may ask someone with good ideas to start speaking up more in meetings. Or you could compliment a person on their work habits and suggest they mentor other staff members.

Help your workers realize you appreciate their attempts and you’d like for them to thrive as employees.

Pay Attention to How Feedback is Presented

Feedback is most effective when it is presented in a way that encourages success. It should concentrate on the future, and what workers should do to move forward.

Attempt to identify with the person receiving feedback, and comprehend the emotions they may be feeling. In a simple and honest way, clarify the reason for the feedback.

Give thought to your facial expressions when you provide feedback. How you look when you say something is just as crucial as what you’re saying.

Get Feedback on Your Feedback

Ask co-workers, close friends, and family members how good you are at giving feedback and opinions. Request particular details and examples of good feedback you have provided. What was the circumstance, what occurred, and what did you do to make others react positively to your feedback?

Pay attention to recurring commonalities. Preferably, you’ll start to see your strengths and weaknesses in this area.


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