Shaping employee behavior on the job and helping them grow requires more than the occasional positive comment or criticism. Constructive feedback is a crucial part of the equation.
Often, praise or criticism does little more than highlight what went right or wrong. With constructive feedback, the goal is to provide insights and coach employees toward success. If you want to ensure you’re providing constructive feedback that helps employees grow, here’s how to go about it.
Schedule One-on-One Meetings
While praise or necessary critical corrections are best delivered immediately, constructive feedback often requires a more in-depth conversation. As a result, it’s typically best to schedule one-on-one meetings with employees regularly. These discussions can effectively serve as coaching sessions, allowing you to reinforce behaviors you’d like to see repeated and adjust how employees handle tasks that were previously done in a less-than-ideal manner.
Before the meeting, spend some time preparing. Consider the skill areas you’d like to target during the conversation. Additionally, gather examples that support your position, and that also serve as solid bases for learning opportunities. That ensures you don’t have to discuss purely theoretical scenarios, making the meeting more productive.
Use a Fact-Oriented Initial Approach
When you broach an area that needs improvement, focus on facts over feelings. Outline what you’ve noticed that isn’t going right, relying primarily on data. Then, after stating your view, ask the employee for additional insights. That can include why they used a particular approach, the reason a mistake occurred, or any other information that gives you further context.
Keep the tone of follow-up questions neutral, and continue focusing on facts. The idea is to get a complete overall picture, as that makes it easier to identify struggles that are hindering their performance.
After you and the employee agree on the nature of the issue, it’s time to work together to find suitable solutions that spur growth. You could ask the employee if there were any lessons learned that can prevent similar problems in the future if the situation relates to a mistake. If it’s not mistake-related, request their input regarding what would help them improve.
Once you’ve done that, start formulating a potential solution. Discuss your expectations and how they relate to the need for improvement. Then, present your idea using a step-by-step format. Finally, ask the employee for further input, allowing you to adjust the approach together to find a mutually acceptable path that can become an action plan.
Continue Meeting Regularly
After there’s an action plan in place, schedule follow-up sessions. These subsequent meetings let you review the employee’s progress while also creating opportunities to offer more support and share additional insights. With this strategy, you’re continuously coaching the employee toward success, allowing your feedback to remain constructive and spur ongoing growth.
Ultimately, feedback is a powerful tool for improving the performance of your team. If you’d like to learn more about how you can propel your employees toward success, PrideStaff wants to hear from you. Contact us today.
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