Although not everyone likes to do it, everyone needs feedback. In order to grow and develop in your role, you need some sort of constructive criticism or positive encouragement to keep you on the right track of growth. According to Feedback Academy, “69% of employees say they would work harder if they felt their efforts were better recognized.” Business owners, managers, and those in charge, this is your sign if you aren’t giving feedback. Your employees want feedback, and are encouraged to work harder when you recognize their efforts. Here are some tips on approaching a potentially uncomfortable situation.
Discover Everyone's Preferred Feedback Method
Each of your team members likes to receive feedback in different ways. As you start to change your feedback systems, take note of how they prefer to get feedback. Do they prefer written or verbal feedback? Determining how your teammates like to receive feedback will put you on the right track immediately. Personally, I like to receive feedback all at the same time and in person. When hearing constructive criticism, it’s easy for the message to be heard wrong if sent via email or text. If you meet in person and provide feedback face-to-face your message is more likely to be received in the way you want.
Set Aside Time to Give/Receive Feedback
Giving feedback is just as important as receiving it! Your company’s best ideas could be sitting with a team member who doesn’t feel like they have the chance to tell you! When you sit down to have a conversation with your teammates make sure you bring an open mind to receive feedback, but also consider what you want to say before heading into the meeting. At Imagine Media, we call these conversations touch bases. It’s important to determine a schedule for having these early on. Your team members will look forward to this time as long as your present it in a positive light. In my opinion, it’s best to have these frequently with new teammates, and potentially quarterly with seasoned employees. Every week at Imagine Media, we use a platform called 15Five where team members can give weekly feedback by answering designated questions in addition to having the opportunity to “high-five” a teammate for something they did well. Using 15Five allows those in charge to recognize how everyone is feeling without having to meet in person!
Find the Right Balance
It’s important that your whole conversation isn’t just negative comments. Although it’s probably constructive criticism, no one wants to sit down and not hear about anything they are doing well. To ensure your teammate feels as if this time has been productive, give them a chance to share their thoughts. Although you are the person in charge, it’s not all about what you have to say. The goal is the motivate your team members, not drag them down, so be positive and encouraging.
Having a sit-down conversation with each of your teammates is essential to keeping things running smoothly. The worst thing would be for your team members to feel like they don’t have a chance to provide feedback or feel attacked by what you have to say. If you keep communication lines open you are sure to promote a positive relationship between everyone in your office!
Story by: Anna Kate Newall