Thursday, October 15, 2015

Helping others grow: how to give positive yet powerful feedback to your employees.

business optimization , CRM , CRM consulting , crm miami , crm optimization , Lead management , marketing , net neutrality , salesforce , Salesforce consulting , salesforce optimization , SkyPlanner Tips of the Trade
Your business is only as good as your employees. And your employees can only perform at their best when they're clear on what they're doing right or wrong. As an employer it is necessary to take time to make your employees aware of where they're excelling and where they can improve by providing the best feedback possible. 

But how that feedback is delivered can go a long way, and the mark of a good employer is being able to deliver employee feedback in a way that will make the employee not only improve, but be successful in everything they do. Because your business is most successful when your employees are successful. 

Now we know that every employee is different so it's impossible to devise a plan that works for everybody, but there are certain general steps you, as a leader, can follow that work for most: 
  • Maintain a reasonable timeframe It is important to address your employees when the subject of the feedback - regardless of whether it's a big deal or small detail - is fresh on everyone's minds. Even if the feedback is of a critical nature nothing is gained by pushing back your time with your employees since the more time in between occurrence and feedback increases the chances that interpretations of what happened will change. 

  • Be prepared This is not about knowing what to say in your conversation. Having all the relevant information necessary to properly address an issue is a no-brainer. No, this step is about you, as the employer, reflecting on the situation and getting in the right mindset to deliver the most effective feedback (i.e not being driven by emotion). If necessary, practice how you will deliver your feedback beforehand as if it were a speech.

  • Learn how the employee thinks/feels Asking the intended recipient what he or she feels about the issue at hand will give you a foundation from which to base your approach to feedback. And a person is much more likely to be motivated to change behaviors and improve productivity if he or she feels like an active participant, and not just a sounding board. 

  • Don't deviate As the saying goes "to assume makes an 'ass'  of 'u' and 'me'", and as such don't try to delve into ulterior motives of employee behavior. For example: don't assume that an employee didn't do X because he is lazy and just collecting a paycheck. Any reasons behind any behaviors can be discovered through thoughtful discussion but the initial feedback should always be based on facts. 

  • Take time to listen Remember that your employee is a person with his or her own needs and opinions. Take time to listen to what the recipient of your feedback has to say whenever you're finished with a main point (i.e. don't rattle off for an hour and then ask "thoughts?"). And remember to stay composed. In the unfortunate event that the conversation takes a heated/hostile turn take time to collect yourself, ending the meeting if absolutely necessary. 

  • Start and finish with positivite affirmations While it may be hard (especially if the topic of conversation is extremely negative) try to find a positive event or attribute about your employee with which to begin your feedback. Conversely, end on a similarly positive note. The good energy from your positive comments will help your employee take your feedback to heart and use it as motivation. 
Do you have any favorite feedback practices? Leave us a comment below or on social media and let us know! In future blog posts we'll dive deeper into how to properly prepare feedback, and then switch it up and show employees how to properly solicit feedback even if no one wants to share it!

At SkyPlanner, South Florida's Salesforce consulting company, we love to hear from ours clients and supporters so please feel free to comment or email us with suggestions for future content.