Performance Feedback (E)
What is the role of feedback? Who can give the feedback? How to give and receive feedback?
Posted: Sep 2009
The Feedback is the essential part of performance management. The feedback helps employees to maximize their performance while performing daily tasks. It helps them to raise their awareness of their strength and areas for improvement. Feedback helps employees to identify actions that required to be taken in order to improve their performance.
The feedback can be informal, during the day-to day activities or during the coaching sessions. The feedback can be formal, during the performance review, performance action plan, during the assessment, etc. Fishbone Diagram can be used as a root cause analysis tool prior to the giving feedback.
Feedback provides information about learning opportunities that helps employee to be more effective. The feedback is a two-way exchange; manager gives information about employee's performance, while employee acknowledges, comment or even disagree in some cases. During this two-way communications the stands of manager and employee are aligning.
Facts about Feedback:
Feedback an be given by manager, but also by colleagues
Feedback is objective and based on facts, not based on personal opinions and feelings
Negative feedback should be straightforward and honest, not concealed and polite
Feedback should be given face to face or by telephone
Feedback can be both – positive and negative
Feedback should not leave a place for any doubts
Feedback should be giving on regular basis
The feedback has two main elements, motivational and developmental. The motivational element is containing praise and encouragement for things that are done well. Developmental feedback is focusing on improvement and development areas. It tells the employee what needs to be improved or further developed, with possible action points. The right key is to give balanced feedback. The balanced feedback should have a right portion of motivational and developmental elements.
There are certain obstacles to giving feedback. Often people avoid giving developmental feedback since they try not to upset the person, to be rejected and to enter to confrontation. Also, people are avoiding motivational elements of feedback, since they are concerned that person might discontinue doing well or become suspicious about motives of the feedback.
Also, there are some obstacles on receiving feedback too. People may not be used on receiving a feedback and they do not know how to react. They may have negative experience on past feedback. People often see a feedback more as a criticism, rather than development opportunity. Criticism is often taken too seriously.
The best way of overcoming feedback obstacles, both giving and receiving, is regular feedback giving. In order to give and receive feedback, it is necessary to follow basic rules of giving and receiving feedback.
Hints for receiving feedback:
Assume positive intent
Consider feedback as a tool for self-development
Do not become defensive
Ask questions for clarification
Acknowledge that message is received and understood
Thank for the feedback
Hints for giving feedback:
Chose the right place and moment for feedback
Focus on skills and behavior, not on person
Acknowledge recipient’s feelings
Explore practical next steps
Balance motivational and developmental elements
Jointly agree about actions