Outside of yearly appraisals, and bi-annual reviews, giving employee feedback is always tricky. Do you wait for a formal one to one to come up, or do something different?
Employee engagement sometimes falls outside of company performance management policies and can be difficult to deliver in a practical, yet fair way – especially if there is no script or policy in place. Even if managers have monthly or fortnightly one to ones in place, delivering employee feedback above and beyond work in progress checks needs to be to the point, fair and purposeful.
Here is our quick, four-step approach to delivering effective employee feedback:
1) Set the Scene.
It might sound obvious, but your employee might have no idea what the one to one is about or what you want to discuss.
Scene setting jogs the employee’s memory and can ‘set the scene’ for the rest of the meeting, for example, start the conversation with: “ Hi, thank you for your time, I’d like to discuss….
- Deliver the facts (e.g. the time of the activity you want to talk about, when, and who was involved)
- Do not give opinions at this stage – try to remain unbiased and indifferent.
2) Ask for their feedback on the subject.
The second step is crucial to delivering a fair and just approach to giving feedback, after setting the scene you are giving your employee the opportunity to feedback on their own performance.
At this point, they might already know what you are going to say and provide a self-reflective response or they might be totally unaware of the situation. Either way – it’s critical to listen to your employee and information gather.
3) Give your feedback
After listening to your employee, you can form an informed response on delivering your feedback. Is it something you have been told by another manager? A disgruntled team member perhaps or something you have witnessed for yourself?
This part of the conversation is for you to deliver your feedback on the activity/performance/incident you are discussing. Keep employee feedback factual and keep it related to the business. Are you giving feedback to improve productivity? Improve team morale? Think about the end game and the purpose you called the meeting and keep it to the subject at hand.
Keep feedback professional and use terms like;
- I have noticed you are arriving late in the office most days, is there a reason?
- Being late is affecting team morale and slowing down productivity in our department.
- Is there anything we can do to help? (This will lead to the next step.)
4) Agree actions moving forward
Don’t give feedback just to voice your opinion, what is the purpose of the feedback you are giving, what actions do you want the employee to take from it?
Agree actions moving forward. The purpose of the meeting is to address the employee’s behaviour/performance and feedback needs an action.
For example; are you giving feedback on lateness? If yes, the action is to agree for the employee to be on time for work every day, or consider alternative working patterns if not obstructive to the business and the employee has a genuine need and reason for being late every day.
By finishing on actions and how to achieve them, the purpose of the meeting will not only be achieved by addressing the reason why you are delivering employee feedback but will also ensure the employee trusts you are acting professionally and not personally.
It’s easier to remember the four simple steps to employee feedback as SAGA – Set the Scene, Ask, Give, Actions