Tips for Effective Performance Feedback

Have you ever had to give feedback to staff, peers or even supervisors? It may have been as simple as answering “How was that presentation?” to as complex as a performance review.

How you give that feedback can have a tremendous impact on how your staff will respond to future project requests; it could impact on the effectiveness of your organisation,your team or your business.

Here are some tips to ensure that your feedback is positive and effective:

Start with a Positive – everyone does something effectively. By recognising that general fact and commenting on it at the start, we tap into the person’s sense of appreciation. By getting them on side we create a willingness to accept our request for improved performance. You now have a positive and receptive atmosphere in which to discuss suggestions for improvement.

Next, concentrate on the specific activity or performance that is under review. Again there must be some parts of the project which were performed satisfactorily so highlight those and explain why they worked well. Again, effort has been recognised and appreciated. This builds on the rapport established at the beginning.

Having acknowledged the positive and established a receptive atmosphere you can then look at the areas of performance which do need to be addressed and improved and these can be mentioned.

Use positive language. It’s all in the communication and how you say it!

Summarise the interview by mentioning the main points again, and then leave the staff member on a high with a final complimentary statement of what they are doing well.

If you can master the art of giving Positive Performance Feedback you will have a very valuable tool to add to your Personal Development Toolkit. It will contribute to increased staff efficiency and productivity, to increased morale in your company and achievement of team, company and business goals.

However, remember that you don’t use the same tool for everything. Choose when it is appropriate to use and when you may have to be black and white.

For example in a life threatening situation e.g. health and safety issues you may have to be more direct, more black and white.

Give it a try and see the immediate benefits, practise and polish your technique until it becomes second nature.