As a business owner or supervisor, one of the most important things you can do for your company is to have open and honest communication with your staff. Providing feedback to your team is critical to improving their performance and keeping them motivated. However, running an effective session can be challenging, especially if you’re not used to giving feedback or if your staff is not used to receiving it.

The reality is, research shows that people want feedback! They want it in their everyday job, not once a year and not just when they do something wrong. They want to know they can grow within their role.

The most important part of feedback…well there are several. Check it out below.

  1. Set the stage

Before you start the session, it’s important to set the stage. Make sure that you have a private and quiet space where you can talk to your team member without interruptions. It’s also important to establish an open and non-judgmental environment. Encourage your team members to speak openly and honestly, and let them know that it is meant to help them improve their performance.

This should be common sense, but make sure you aren’t distracted during your time together.

2. Start with positive feedback

When you start the feedback session, it’s a good idea to begin with positive feedback. Start by acknowledging your team member’s strengths and the things that they have done well. This will help to create a positive tone for the rest of the session and make your team member be more receptive to constructive feedback.

3. Be specific and objective

When you provide feedback, it’s important to be specific and objective. Instead of making general statements, provide concrete examples of the behavior or actions that you’re referring to. This will help your team understand what they need to do differently in the future.

4. Make sure the feedback is timely and purposeful.

Don’t wait until the annual review for feedback. If a team member has a win, or there is an issue, in June, don’t wait until November for their annual review to give feedback.

Provide timely feedback so your team member understands and you can move forward knowing the problem is taken care of.

Make sure that the feedback you are giving serves a purpose…it corrects a behavior, helps them improve in an area, helps them understand why they need to do a task a certain way. Then you can tie it into their goals. This shows that there is a greater purpose than simply giving feedback.

5. Make it about the behavior.

Never make it personal. Have the information be constructive and use “I” words instead of “you” when starting sentences.

You can read more about your own behavior when giving feedback, here.

6. Practice active listening.

When you’re providing feedback, it’s important to listen actively to your team member’s response. Let them know that you’re open to their feedback and that you value their opinion. This will help to build trust and create a more positive work environment.

7. Follow up-Make it Ongoing

Feedback can be awkward at first, but it is so important for the supervisor/team member relationship. The more you do it, the easier it will become. You need to check in with them regularly, provide timely feedback, and make it an ongoing part of the organization. This will help to create a culture of open communication and continual growth.

Creating an organizational culture of on-going feedback is critical to improving their performance and keeping them motivated. It allows for a feedback loop that is beneficial for all.

What have you done or experienced that has made the feedback process easier for you as a supervisor? Hit reply and let me know!

I strategically help business owners develop their leadership competencies. We implement ways to be more strategic to increase revenue and develop workflows that affect the bottom line. In the end, we create work-life integration so they live a life they love.

Own a business? Sign up for your own First Steps Appointment. We can talk about the first steps to creating a strategy based around the pain points of your business. Sign up here.

Stephanie German is a business strategist, adjunct professor, and speaker. She holds a master’s degree in organizational leadership and loves giving back to her community in a variety of ways. When she’s not coaching clients or writing about leadership, Stephanie is usually headed to the mountains or the beach with her family, drinking savory wine, or working on the latest project with her husband. She lives in Fresno, California with her husband Blake and her three spunky daughters, Cara, Kinsey, and Peyton. She is the best-selling author of So Your Boss Can’t Lead?

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