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Giving Constructive Feedback: The Ultimate Guide

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.

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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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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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How Is Employee Retention?

Employee retention rests on opportunities to learn and advance; work/life balance; a good cultural fit; and an appreciation for good work. High employee turnover is a clear sign that something’s...

Do Employees Know What’s Expected Of Them?

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

Employers should be mindful of those they promote into leadership positions. Strong communication skills are a must when leading a team of people and coaching on this area might be necessary for some.

Do Employees Feel Cared For?

A good manager is empathetic to people and demonstrates this routinely.

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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