Effective Feedback = Amplified Success

One of the most underutilized, yet highly effective tools in the workplace is meaningful feedback. It is simply not enough, or very effective for that matter to just say “good job” to someone. Using empty and vague complements such as “good job” and “wonderful work” may make both the giver and receiver of feedback feel a reciprocation of appreciation. But without a direct and clear message of performance, it is very hard for someone to pinpoint the strengths and potential weaknesses in their work.

Types of Feedback

To first understand feedback, it’s important to be able to identify the types of evaluation. When it comes to effective feedback there are basically two different types that are quite the opposite of each other but still help to build stronger performance.

  • Success or Achievement Feedback – this type of feedback focuses on reinforcing already positive behaviors or practices.
  • Balancing or Guidance Feedback – when this type of feedback is used, the purpose is often to motivate self-correction and to help identify areas or behaviors that need to change to elicit success.

Providing Effective Feedback

There are many hindrances towards creating a habit of providing effective communication such as a lack of time or the inability to let feedback flow naturally. However, if you really are dedicated towards improving your workplace communication and performance, you will throw all excuses out the window and get down to business, literally. In order to get effective and meaningful feedback flowing, here are some tips to try.

  • Timing is Everything: You may be familiar with the old saying, “better late than never.” Well these old words of wisdom don’t really apply to providing comments or criticism. Instead when it comes to this, “timing is everything.” Many employers make the mistake of gathering data about an employee’s performance throughout the year and simply hand it over to the employee one time per year at his or her annual review. This is a mistake. If improvements could have been made sooner, why wait half a year to tell someone and vice versa. For instance, you wouldn’t go back to a restaurant 6 months after having an amazing steak dinner and complement the cook on a whole separate occasion. Review is the most meaningful when it is timely.
  • Effective Feedback is Practiced: sometimes providing feedback is difficult. You may know what you want to convey, but are unsure how to do so in an effective manner. In order to give an assessment purposefully, it is important to start building feedback into your daily interactions. For example, when you notice a behavior that warrants applause, tell that person and make feedback an integrated part of your daily conversations.
  • Clear, Concise, and Personal: This is one of the most common mistakes, a lack of clarity. When someone does an excellent job doing something, don’t just say “great work!” Instead, take the time to point out the positives within the work or performance and also use this time to also give tips on how the performance may even improve further.

If you have been searching for ways to improve employee morale, redirect performance, and create an atmosphere conducive of success, reevaluate your methods. Feedback may seem like a little thing, but it goes a long way in creating an effective and motivated workplace.

Additional Resources