Feedback

Feedback: information that enables staff to perform their duties and/or demonstrate behaviours that meet the needs of their post.

Feedback builds on positives and encourages further development.

WHY give feedback?

  • When an employee performs well feedback affirms good performance and encourages that performance to be repeated.
  • When an employee under performs feedback allows an individual to improve and develop.

WHEN to give feedback?

  • When you as manager are well-prepared and know what you wish to discuss and how.
  • When you and the employee have time to concentrate on what is being said.
  • When you are in a quiet room and will not be interrupted (particularly relevant when discussing concerns).
  • Ideally, feedback should be given as soon as possible after the event: in this way, feedback is relevant and events are clear in the minds of both parties and thus specific concerns can be referred to.
  • However, you may need to delay giving feedback until sufficient information about an event/behaviour has been gathered.

HOW to give feedback?

  • Always prepare thoroughly for giving feedback: analyse the current situation, arrange your thoughts and the facts.
  • Feedback situations that deal with non-behavioural information e.g. work not carried out to standard, lateness etc. is relatively straightforward. Giving feedback on behaviour is more problematic; therefore, when giving behavioural feedback describe the behaviour that needs to change and the impact of that behaviour. Be specific, give examples and concentrate on behaviours that it is possible to change. Remember, you can change behaviours but not personality.
  • Describe the behaviours you wish to see and give an example.
  • Foster a two-way dialogue: listen to the employee’s point of view and seek solutions together – encourage the employee to take ownership of the solutions.
  • Focus on what is good. An effective strategy is to have a ‘feedback sandwich’ – begin and end on a positive note, discussing the less positive issues in the middle of the conversation.
  • Give the employee a timescale for improvement.
  • Offer your assistance in helping them achieve this improvement.