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6 Innovative Ways to Provide Constructive Feedback to Employees

February 16, 2017

‘Hey, can I give you some feedback on that project?’

What pops up in your mind when you hear this sentence from your boss or co-workers? It is an undeniable fact that most people still perceive “feedback” in a darker light, rather than looking at the brighter side to it. For some people, feedback has the same connotation as with criticism, which explains why many people respond with a pessimistic rather than an enthusiastic attitude.

Both for leaders and employees, feedback is an important element that leads to success. Unfortunately, owing to the tendency to provide feedback, only when something is not working as per the initial plan, this term tends to have a negative feel for those who are affected by it.

As a HR leader, it is important to create an effective method in the team to deliver constructive feedback to employees. Being in a position to deliver consistent feedback can sometimes comes be demanding and an uncomfortable situation. However, feedback is one of HR’s crucial tasks to manage motivation levels of the human capital.

See: Dealing with Negative Feedback: 57 Experts Opine

If you need some help delivering constructive feedback, here are six innovative ways you can practice right away:

  1.    Tell them directly

This might be obvious, but unless your employees are out of reach, you should never deliver the feedback through messages or emails. Words cannot convey the real emotion, which is why people tend to misunderstand easily while interpreting certain messages.

To avoid such happenings, it is always better to confront them and convey the message directly. Either by meeting face-to-face or through phone calls, feedback should be delivered straight such as to avoid any commotion caused by unnecessary misconstruction.

  1.    Set the tone for feedback delivery

To ensure to employees that they are not being judged, set the tone of feedback delivery and the room’s atmosphere before delivering the right feedback. Before getting to business, you should provide them honest compliments about their achievements, so they are not feeling down right at the very beginning.

  1.    Watch your words

Let’s face it. There are times when we realise we have made major mistake but not buoyant enough to admit it, let alone making others feel embarrassed. Hence, you should be careful in choosing words when delivering the comment or critical feedback. Don’t use statements that might undermine their morale or intelligence. Not only will this hurt them personally, but the point of your feedback will not sink in their mind as well.

  1.    Take time to listen

Don’t go overboard and vent out everything in your mind. If there is something that triggers your anger, hold back and calm down for a moment such that you can regain control over your emotions.

You should not be the one who does all the talks, the employees might need to say something as well, too. Take time to listen to their reasons before you deliver the feedback, especially when you are about to deliver unpleasant ones.

  1.    Make feedback a habit

Some people provide feedback only when something is wrong, but this is not the way it should be done. Rather, you should make delivering feedback a habit. Either manager to employees or among co-workers, everyone should feel free to provide each other constructive feedback to keep the company alive.

As a leader, you should lead by example and be a role model. Do not always be the one who gives feedback. Invite employees to provide you feedback as well.

  1.    Follow-up on feedback

Nothing is more useless than a feedback with no follow-up. If you do not want your feedback to be gone into trash, make sure to follow-up on the employee’s’ progress and compare their performance before and after the feedback is given.

Finally, the keyword is to provide constructive feedback with honesty. If your employees do a great job, say so. Convey positive reinforcement that makes them feel appreciated and valuable.

Conversely, if they make some mistakes, they also need to know, for the sake of their own progress. Instead of providing hollow sugar-coated comments, it would be better if you deliver constructive inputs in a good way.

Read also: How Much Feedback is Right for an Employee? Too Much or Too Little?

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