The goal of performance conversations is usually to facilitate professional growth through constructive employee feedback. Unfortunately, outdated processes and negative experiences can mean feedback is perceived as criticism.
Feedback is key to the growth and health of your organization. But with so many employees fearful of it, how can managers deliver constructive feedback to support real-time performance management?
Where Does Feedback Go Wrong?
A 2014 study from Harvard Business Review revealed that 57 percent of workers preferred constructive employee feedback. When asked what could help improve career trajectory, 72 percent believed their performance could improve if they had constructive feedback conversations with their managers.
However, traditional annual performance conversations don’t frame feedback in a useful or constructive way. Instead feedback is:
- Delivered once a year during performance reviews
- Shared only from the top-down
- Negative and, in some cases, used against underperforming employees
The result of infrequent and off-putting feedback is a feared, rigid and process-driven event that yields few positive results.
4 Ways to Deliver Constructive Employee Feedback
Feedback should be viewed an opportunity to learn from peers and better understand management’s insights regarding recent projects and performance. Even more, organizations should encourage voluntary dialogue at any time.
Delivering constructive employee feedback shouldn’t include strict formalities.. It should be fluid and facilitated in different formats, including:
- Group feedback for individuals – Employees can better understand how they are performing on current projects and where they have room for improvement. Group feedback can be solicited from project-specific or day-to-day teams.
- Self-assessments – Typically initiated by managers, self-assessment forms allow employees to reflect on their own performance, share success stories and identify areas they need assistance.
- Project retrospectives – Looking back on past projects allows managers to identify where employees performed above expectations and opportunities to improve future processes.
- Check-ins – Check-ins enable managers to provide strategic and constructive employee feedback in a more informal setting. Employees can also schedule check-ins anytime they’re interested in receiving feedback.
Give Employees the Feedback They Want to Hear
At HighGround, we know constructive employee feedback is an integral part of development. We also know strong feedback processes don’t happen overnight.
HighGround’s employee engagement solution supports a constant feedback loop and open forum for discussion, enabling managers and employees to solicit individual, group and peer-to-peer feedback in real time.
Employees are asking for feedback to improve performance. It’s time to give it to them. To learn more about communicating constructive feedback to employees, download HighGround’s latest eBook, “Feedback Is Not the Enemy” today.