Giving and receiving feedback is critical to improving performance. Without communicating successes and ways performance can be improved it is very difficult to reach goals. This is a two way process; whilst it is vitally important for a manager to regularly provide feedback to employees, it is equally important for employees to offer feedback to their manager and organisation. Doing so assists everyone by giving them the information they need to improve and succeed in their roles.
Feedback and motivation
Motivation is key to success. An unmotivated employee does not see personal gain from their work. They are likely to spend their time doing enough to get by without aiming higher. In all likelihood they will have little to no loyalty to the organisation and will not act in its interest. This not only limits success but also drains the company of time and resources. If this applies to one individuals this is a nuisance. If it applies to a whole team, or worse, workforce, this is a major problem for a company.
Good, well constructed and considered feedback and regular positive communication can encourage motivation. Achieving this involves giving the importance of communication the attention it deserves. Project management often involves the managing a team. They are the best asset you have and should be treated as such. So don’t make communication an afterthought. Always keep channels of communication open. Organise regular one to ones and performance reviews. Provide ample opportunity for the team to talk to one another and share ideas. Make sure everyone is updated on news or changes and involved in decision making.
Get to know your team. Spend time observing them. Watch how they interact with one another and pay attention to how they respond to you. Speak to them and listen. Arrange for private conversations and make employees feel heard and respected. Keep the information you are given safe. Celebrate achievements. Bring the whole team together to share in the celebration.
Feedback and performance
Feedback isn’t always positive. As a manager you will have to deal with difficult conversations and topics from time to time. However, when handled well, this can be an excellent opportunity to create a better understanding, generate greater motivation and improve performance. Critical to this is ‘constructive’ criticism. Criticism without direction or discussion is simple de-motivating. How can an employee get it right next time if they have been criticised but without any guidance or support to change and develop?
Confidence, consistency and honesty are essential in tackling tricky feedback. Keep you feedback frequent, relevant and useful. Mangers mustn’t shy away from challenging situations but address them head on. Well thought out and constructed feedback will help the employee get back on track and feel valued and appreciated as you have taken the time and effort to work with them to resolve their issues. This type of feedback should always be given in privacy and with some notice.
Feedback and engagement
Employees want and need your feedback. Knowing if they are doing well or need to adjust their performance keeps them focused and confident. Consistent communication is essential. When they are engaged individuals feel connected to their target. The aim becomes personal and when something is personal we are much more likely to give it our best effort. You can have the most highly skilled and trained workforce but without engagement they will struggle to reach their performance targets. Without knowing how, when, where to use their skills for the good of the company, they will not be working efficiently.
Engage in Learning’s Performance Management Pathway courses will introduce you to ways to develop a motivated, high performance workforce and how to set achievable expectations. The Giving and Receiving Feedback module will show you how to frame feedback constructively and improve performance, motivation and engagement.