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Giving Constructive Feedback: The Ultimate Guide

Effective feedback

Effective feedback is:
  • Objective. Don't let your personal feelings get in the way.
  • Timely. Feedback should follow when the event is still fresh.
  • Constructive. Give respect and show that you have their best interests in mind.
  • Actionable. Feedback must include immediate next steps.
  • Warranted. Give your employees room for mistakes and learn from them.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

Giving Constructive Feedback: The Ultimate Guide

Giving Constructive Feedback: The Ultimate Guide

https://www.jotform.com/constructive-feedback-guide/

jotform.com

9

Key Ideas

Feedback

Feedback provides an opportunity to gain insights about a person's personal and professional actions.
Without feedback, we will move in the same direction without realizing our shortcomings. With feedback, we can incorporate outside suggestions and improve accordingly.

Types of feedback

  • Positive vs. negative. Positive feedback confirms that someone is taking good action, while negative feedback shows what actions need to be corrected.
  • Formal vs. informal. Formal feedback is given on a set schedule, and informal feedback is short and follows after an action or event.
  • Annual vs. monthly
  • Verbal vs. written
  • Manager vs. peer

Effective feedback

Effective feedback is:
  • Objective. Don't let your personal feelings get in the way.
  • Timely. Feedback should follow when the event is still fresh.
  • Constructive. Give respect and show that you have their best interests in mind.
  • Actionable. Feedback must include immediate next steps.
  • Warranted. Give your employees room for mistakes and learn from them.

Peer feedback

It can be difficult to let a coworker know they've done something wrong. It is generally best to give constructive feedback directly and in private.

  • Give feedback in the moment.
  • Remain positive and genuine.
  • Motivate your peers by offering support and encouragement.
  • Don't patronize by using compliment sandwiches.
  • Comment on your peer's behavior, not their personality. 
  • Assess whether you're the best suited to give the feedback or if someone else will have a better positive impact.
  • Be open and invite feedback from your peers.

Employee feedback

It is essential to identify the employee's strengths, weaknesses, and potential trouble areas to give an idea of how to provide positive and critical feedback, and to what extent.

  • Timely: Unspoken issues can worsen over time, but by providing quick feedback can mitigate the issue early.
  • Specific: Feedback needs to relate to behavior and you should communicate how that behavior impacted the person involved.
  • Balanced: If feedback must be imbalanced, it should weigh more to the positive. Be intentional about regular positive feedback.
  • Actionable: “When you do [action taken], it [impact of the action]. Could you [desired action]?”

If an employee is surprised by the feedback, then the manager has not done the job of providing regular feedback before the formal feedback session.

Customer feedback

Customer feedback is essential to improving your business. You'll not only figure out how to improve your offerings but also get insights on ways to communicate the value of your product better and even clarify your ideal customer.

How to get customer feedback

  • When asking for customer reviews, make the process simple, and provide clear instructions.
  • Explain to your customers why you're asking for feedback.
  • Time your request for feedback strategically when customers are most interested in sharing. For example, shortly after the purchase or at a significant milestone.
  • Make the request personal, so the customer knows it's coming from a person.
  • Forms are the easiest way to collect feedback. Forms send directly to your customers have a more personal feel.

Customer feedback questions

  • How happy are you with our services? Provide some sliding scale (1 to 10) or a simple choice option, such as happy or unhappy.
  • What can we do better? Customers may help you identify areas that need to be addressed and that you couldn’t see yourself.
  • Do you have any additional feedback or comments for us?

Different styles of feedback

  • Real-time feedback.
  • Performance feedback. It is more formal because it tends to be scheduled and covers positive and constructive evaluation.
  • 360-degree feedback. It comes from a combination of people connected to the employee, for example, direct reports, peers, managers, other potential raters.

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The "why" of feedback

The purpose of giving feedback is to improve the situation or the person's performance. You won't accomplish that by being harsh, critical or offensive.

You'll likely get much more fro...

Timing of the feedback

The closer to the event you address the issue, the better. 

And it's much easier to provide feedback about a single, one-hour job that hasn't been done properly than it is to do so about a whole year of failed, one-hour jobs.

But if the situation involved is highly emotional, wait until everyone has calmed down before you engage in feedback

Make it regular

Informal, simple feedback should be given much more often than this – perhaps every week or even every day, depending on the situation.

It's not a once-a-year or a once-every-three-month event. Though this may be the timing of formal feedback.

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Spend some time planning. Then spend a lot more time doing. If you're unsure, do something -- and then react appropriately.

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Benefits of workplace collaboration

Employees can share resources, swap perspectives, and boost each other’s creativity.

Collaboration allows us to capitalize on the collective knowledge and expertise of our people, whil...

Downsides of collaboration

Collaborations can be unproductive, time-wasting, and a strain on top employees.

Collaborative organizational structure can drain people’s time and resources, wherein employees are “emailed to death and meetinged to death."

For effective collaboration...

... (or delegation), it helps to know where everyone’s expertise lies. 

Make sure your employees get to know each other, whether that happens through group lunches, coffee breaks, or informal social events. This also builds trust — a vital element for successful collaboration.

Getting Negative Feedback
Getting Negative Feedback

... is not the best thing to happen at work. It normally leads to a racing mind, emotional discomfort and increased blood pressure.

We may try to defend ourselves, or brush aside the feedba...

It’s Not Personal

Unless it is completely uncalled for, negative feedback generally has the intention of informing us about our areas of improvement. If feedback isn’t provided, you may not grow and improve. If no one tells you that you are doing something wrong, you will keep doing it wrongly forever.

Providing timely feedback may be a sign that the manager cares and wants you to improve.

Don’t Shoot The Messenger

One should not be defensive when provided with negative feedback, and understand that it is for our own good.

One needs to act on the feedback by approaching it from a neutral and objective standpoint, not taking it as a personal attack. Instead of reacting, just pause and listen. Reflect on the feedback, giving yourself some time and space to respond with a level head.

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One on one meetings

...are held between a team leader and team member

They are conversations that usually last no longer than 10 to 30 minutes where they discuss what is going well and what needs t...

A recommended agenda

Most effective one on one meetings typically last about 30 minutes:

  • 10 minutes for the direct report from the employee;
  • 10 minutes for the manager’s remarks and messages, and;
  • 10 minutes for the employee and manager to draw a way forward.
Objectives of effective 1:1 meetings
  • find out about the employee’s current emotional state.
  • track the status of the employee’s performance and how their goals are coming along.
  • learn if there are any obstacles in the way to the employee’s goals.
  • discuss specific issues – either the employee’s, the manager’s, or both.
  • get honest value-added feedback from the employee.
  • provide an opportunity for the manager to coach the employee.
  • share formal and informal information about the team and company as a whole.

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Good managers provide continuous feedback to them. This allows the employee to quickly make course corrections and to feel successful.

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If empathy is not a trait in a candidate for management, pair them with a leader who can mentor them on how to manage people before promoting them.

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Working Remotely

There is ongoing turbulence in the workplace due to the uncertainties provided by the new virus, resulting in a whole lot of people working from home. Normally the work-from-home policies are esta...

Common Challenges of Remote Work

Even high-performing employees can face a decline in job performance and engagement when working remotely. This can be due to:

  • Lack of face-to-face supervision, which leads to a two-way communication gap and even mistrust.
  • There is a delay in the procurement of information as remote workers aren’t able to sense the atmosphere and real-time events at the workplace, leading to a lack of ‘mutual knowledge’.
  • A sense of isolation among remote workers, leading to a feeling of less belongingness within the organization.
  • Distractions at home due to unplanned work-from-home transition, with employees balancing childcare and many other responsibilities along with work.
Improving Engagement And Productivity

A few specific, research-backed steps that can be taken to improve the engagement and productivity of remote employees:

  • Establishing Structured Daily check-ins, by establishing a daily call or touchpoint.
  • Providing several different communication technology options, using virtual communication tools like Slack, Zoom, Microsoft Teams etc., and making use of video conferencing.
  • Establishing clear rules of engagement for communicating with the coworkers or the managers, according to the levels of urgency.
  • Providing opportunities for remote social interaction by talking about non-work activities, thereby reducing the feeling of isolation among remote workers.
  • Offering encouragement and emotional support by listening to the workers, acknowledging their stress, and keeping their needs and issues in focus.
Authentic leadership

Is a management style in which leaders are genuine, self-aware, and transparent. 

An authentic leader is able to inspire loyalty and trust in her employees by consistently display...

Components of Authentic Leadership
  • Self-Awareness: be aware of your trengths, weaknesses, and values and displaying them to your team.
  • Relational Transparency: remain genuine, straightforward, and honest with your team. Display the behavior you hope to see in your employees.
  • Balanced Processing: stick to your values when making decisions, but remain open to discussions and alternatve options.
  • Doing the right thing: focus on doing the right thing for the long-term success of the business, not yours.
3 ways to practie self-awareness as a leader
  • Seek feedback from the environment;
  • Use self-reflection to better understand your behavior;
  • Practice regular self-observation to stay aware of your feelings at all times.
  • Assembling the Team

    ... that's capable of executing in a remote setup:

    • Hire doers: they will get stuff done even if they are working from a secluded island.
    • Hire people you can trust....
    Software/Tools

    In a remote team, you'll need the right tools to make sure everyone stays on the same page and can continue to execute without a physical person standing next to them.

    You likely will need a tool in certain categories like group chat and video conferencing to make remote successful.

    Processes

    Good processes let you get work done in the absence of all else. They provide structure and direction for getting things done.

    A few examples from Zapier:

    • Weekly Hangouts;
    • Weekly One-on-Ones;
    • Bring the team together 2 times/year somewhere cool;
    • Automate anything that can be automated.
    1:1 meetings
    1:1 meetings

    1:1 meetings matter. It is important to nurture that essential employee-manager relationship. But it still not easy to get right.

    Under pressures, managers are still juggl...

    1:1 category

    The goal of an effective 1:1 is not an update from your direct report or for you to lay down some instructions. It's a conversation. It's a chance to hear about your direct reports' ideas for your product, their career goals, and possibly their opinion of their performance.

    Keep a list of three potential topics ready for discussion. When they say they have nothing to discuss, you can jumpstart the conversation with one of your items.

    Manager's best tool

    Your most precious resource is your own time and energy. When you spend it on your team, it helps build healthy relationships.

    Your job as a manager isn't to give advice or 'save the day.'' It's to empower your reports to find the answer themselves. If you want to understand what's going on, ask. Let her lead the conversation while you listen and probe.

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