How to give Constructive Feedback at Work

When it comes to success, the growth and overall development of a person is the highest calling of leadership. Our growth both personally and professionally depends on our ability to internalize your strengths and weaknesses and plan strategically and objectively for various ways of improvement.

As a business leader, one of the most critical skills about the job will be your ability to give strong and constructive feedback to your employees. Entrepreneurs and leaders have a sense where they want to go and how they want to get there. In order for you to achieve these intrinsic business goals, you have to make sure everyone is on the same page. To do this, you as a business leader will need to provide a developmental conversation. This is a particular conversation that focuses on the skills, capabilities, and attitudes of those around you. It is, in itself, similar to that of an employee evaluation, but still implies a bit of direction and improvement for the betterment of their growth.

But before I continue, I have to speak loudly to the beneficial effects of how strong purposeful feedback can be on an employee. To start, we have to understand and internalize that strong positive feedback is not one that points out the strengths and flaws of a worker. Instead, it often involves having some fundamental objective within the course of the conversation. At any notion, it helps to outline the principles and philosophies of their goals and that of your company. In addition, it very much helps sets up a plan that can track and follow a person’s progress.

As beneficial as it is, many employees and workers are oftentimes hesitant to have these conversations. One of the thorniest aspects of giving this level of critical feedback is that many people feel that they are in the hot seat when it comes to these situations. As frustrating as it can be, having these conversations is an integral part of your growth as a professional within said-field. To optimistically think you are performing at a high ability may be great confidence-wise, but to overlooking areas where you can improve will be one of the biggest hurdles in reaching ay type of success. In addition to the employee’s personal feels, some of the problems of constructive feedback can oftentimes fall on you where many of your comments can be vague and unspecific. When you are giving feedback, do not speak in generalities. Instead, provide specific examples within their day-to-day. Highlight moments where they have succeeded and areas where they can improve for the better. The more clear and precise you are, the better.

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Now, as stated above, constructive feedback is very similar to an employee evaluation. Do not make the mistake of not explaining the consequences. Good managers and business leaders are clear about potential consequences if problems are not fixed. Make sure you explain these consequences. Yes, this can build tensions and anxiety for the individual. But if they are unclear about their work or the extreme consequences that can lead to their lack of progress, you will be doing them a disservice as a leader. While it is probably the toughest part of the job as a manager, it is absolutely necessary if you want to see change.

So the question comes down to this: How can you give strong and constructive feedback to your employees?

When giving constructive feedback start with a goal. Every employee works differently and each individual person has their own personal and professional strengths and weaknesses. Because every conversation will be different, make sure you outline a specific and unique goal that they can work on. This can be a positive goal where you want to see them in a more leadership position or a more concerning goal where you need to see progress and consistency. Whatever is the case, make sure that is the one thing they can walk out of when the conversation is over.

Now, as hard as these conversations may be, you want to understand that it is not about the character; it is about the behavior and the work. Many employees in this situation feel that they are personally being attacked. To avoid that type of negativity, tailor the conversation more towards their work. At the bottom line, you need to think about the bigger picture. In order for you and your company to reach their goals, they need to improve their work ethics so that every party can see benefit from the progress.

To help with this process, make sure you are specific as possible. Do not generalize when it comes to your feedback. Be specific and use concrete examples to make your points. Now, when it comes to your goals, try not to ask for too much. Witnessing a day-and-night situation is incredibly rare. Instead, set realistic tangible goals. The worst thing you can do is overwhelming them to a point where they are unable to work. This is a progress. With your guidance, you will be able to shape and cultivate them into a better professional.

That leads me to my last point; make sure you show them your support. Supplying feedback and suggesting a course of action can come off as authoritative. To alleviate the talks, create a plan and follow up with various conversations and steps of how ‘you’ can help them develop within the field.

How to Effectively Communicate as a Manager or Supervisor

communicating-effectivelyNo matter what field you are in, communication is the key to success. Communication, by definition, is simply the act of transferring information from one place to another. Although this is a simple definition, people tend to have a hard time talking with one another. But why is that? Why is it so difficult to communicate for a specific task? There are many factors that play a role why certain things can be lost in translation. For the work place, your mentality and success rely purely on the idea of what your goal is for the overall conversation. To improve at your business, whether you are working with another employee or a client, you have to improve on your communication.

Within the business sector, communication is incredibly vital for day-to-day operations.  To truly improve the efficiency and productivity with your employees, managers and supervisors need to be clear and precise when talking, delegating or presenting ideas to others. Below, you will find helpful tips and various guidelines in how to improve your communication skills in the business world. Following these helpful tips will allow you to leverage productivity and delegate your standards for a strong, positive, and cohesive work environment.

Be Detailed and Comprehensive When Talking

When directing your instructions to your employees, make sure that you break down every piece of information that you are looking for him or her to accomplish and execute. Do not be afraid in going in detail. The biggest mistake employees make is that they are unclear at the expectation or standard you are looking for a specific task. Providing this information will clarify any misunderstanding and provide a greater concept for future task at hand. Two things you want to watch out for, 1. Going off on a tangent and 2. Understand the perspective of your employee. For the first, the biggest mistake managers and supervisors make is that they tend to get lost in their own thoughts. When you are talking to your employee, be sure to stick with a goal in mind. For the latter, understanding the perspective of your employee is seen as a sign of respect. If you know that this is a particular task that said employee has done before, make sure you are quick and to the point. If this is their first time, be sure to explain in detail. Having this awareness will save you future headaches and better prepare productivity in the long run.

Know Your Goals Before Jumping into a Conversation

Whenever you are talking, whether that is one-on-one or publicly at a meeting, you want to make sure that there is a point or overall goal for your speech. This is especially important if you are looking to improve the productivity between co-workers and clients. Remember, setting and reaching your goals is the theme of every manager’s day. Anything else can otherwise compromise the productivity of your goal. One thing supervisors often find themselves in is that they tend to ramble on various different tangents. To prevent you from doing this, know and internalize your goal and purpose for the conversation. If the one-on-one is meant to work on weaknesses, make sure you are well aware of the weaknesses. If the presentation and meeting is about the financial quarter, make sure you focus on the financial quarter.

Email Etiquettes

When communicating online, especially through email, try and leverage the subject line to the best of your abilities. As stated above, be direct and to the point. Often times, employees tend to delete any unwanted or unknown emails. By utilizing the subject line with a quick and direct sentence, primarily about the topic, employees will be more inclined and engaged in opening said mail.

Furthermore, in the actual email, make sure you are clear and precise about the information. Too long of an email or too wordy of an email can often confuse and complicate your overall intentions. The best way to prevent this from happening is to space things out in various paragraphs.

Be Available and Accessible for Any Questions

Throughout the workday, you will find a variety of problems or misunderstandings from your employees that can be easily resolved from a two-minute conversation. Being easily available to your employees will often times play a huge factor in whether or not you are able to reach your daily goals. One big problem you need to look out for is that sometimes people feel intimidated or apprehensive to reach out to management because they are uncomfortable asking for help. To prevent this from happening, try reach out to your employees and ask them if they need any assistants in any various projects or overall operations. Doing so will allow you to establish that positive work environment that can greatly pick up morale and boost productivity.