Keeping employees happy involves a lot of different factors, including how managers give employee feedback.
Employee satisfaction levels have plummeted over the past couple of years, with up to 41% of employees considering leaving their jobs for better conditions.
If you are looking for employee feedback examples, this article is here to help. A positive dialogue must exist between employees and managers to ensure a healthy working environment.
In this article, we will explain the 8 common employee feedback mistakes to avoid in the workplace and what you can do to change this.
Read on to find out more.
1. Lack of specificity or vague comments
One of the most frustrating feedback scenarios for an employee is when managers give vague or un-actionable feedback so it's not clear how to rectify their behaviour.
Managers often have a lot on their plates, however, if there's an issue that needs raising, make sure the feedback has clear examples of what the employee needs to do.
Wishy-washy statements such as 'I want you to be more proactive' or 'I don't sense your commitment' isn't helpful and can often be confusing.
Instead, a manager should say: 'I think you could be doing more in (insert industry-specific area). I would like you to focus on x, y or z. Please let me know if you have any questions.'
2. Not tailoring feedback to certain styles of working
Good managers will know how their employees operate best in regards to feedback and evaluation. Some employees prefer regular and consistent feedback in regards to tasks and projects, others prefer a more hands-off approach.
A successful manager will be able to work out pretty quickly who needs that extra support or the employees that want to be left to their own devices.
In some cases, it might be that some employees are uncertain about how to ask for feedback.
Creating a nurturing and proactive feedback environment for individuals based on their working style enables employees to speak up if they need additional feedback.
3. Giving feedback in inappropriate settings
Where you give feedback matters a great deal. Usually, this is best in a formal setting such as a scheduled meeting either in person or online. Feedback isn't for lunch breaks or on team building days, employees should be able to relax during this time without having to discuss work-related things.
It's also not something that should be done in larger meetings or with other people present unless you are giving feedback to a team as a whole. Feedback shouldn't be directed at one person in a larger meeting session as this can have negative consequences for their morale.
4. Not preparing employees for feedback
Managers must let their employees know ahead of time that they will be giving feedback on a certain task or project. It gives the employees time to prepare beforehand so they aren't bombarded with lots of information without warning.
This allows the employees to be ready to take on feedback and be in a more receptive mindset for solutions and alternative perspectives. Managers can also use performance review software to aid them with their feedback.
5. Relying too much on positive feedback
If managers are always singing the praises of their employees and being overly positive, the positive feedback loses its meaning over time. It can also create an environment where people feel as if they don't need to push themselves.
Positive feedback is great for morale and team harmony, however, it's essential that feedback is used effectively and not dished out for everything. It's a fine balance between overpraising and not recognizing employees' achievements, but a good manager will do that.
6. Not being truthful
Employees can sense when a manager isn't being sincere. Even if the truth is hard, employees will respect a manager who is honest with their feedback.
It takes a level of bravery to critique or disagree with others, however, it can be structured in a way which is helpful to the employee. Give clear examples of what needs to be changed and a timeline for when they need to be changed.
7. Not doing a follow-up email
Depending on your employee's learning style, it can be helpful to also put your feedback in writing so that they have a document to consult and work off. Often in meetings, topics can be discussed so quickly and in great detail that people might not have time to write everything down.
This can cause unnecessary stress down the line, as a manager might think the employee hasn't made the requested changes from the feedback that was originally given. However, it was more of a case that they didn't write it down.
A follow-up email is helpful for both parties as it gives a clear indication of what was discussed and what changes or tweaks need to be made. The email needs to be concise and to the point. A great way to do this is to use either bullet points or a numbered list.
That way an employee can consult the list and tick it off along the way as they make the changes.
8. Not allowing feedback both ways
Some of the most productive work environments are based upon an open dialogue between managers and employees. Managers should feel comfortable giving feedback to employees and employees should be able to also give feedback to managers.
If employees feel their views are not being listened to or they don't have a voice at their company, this can lead to resentment.
Feedback should be allowed to happen both ways, with actionable results in both directions.
Employee feedback: what works
Employee feedback doesn't have to be a challenge if managers learn the dos and don't of how to give feedback in the workplace.
But this isn't something that managers have to do entirely on their own. Employee performance management software can benefit many companies who want to propel their company to the next level.
If you are interested in learning more about our products, contact us today to find out more.