Feedback is a powerful management tool. It is a mechanism for change, and it helps employees develop and perform. This is why feedback should not be only an annual or semi-annual event at performance review meetings. Employee feedback should be constant and in the moment. Here are reasons why.
Annual or Semi-Annual Reviews Should Be Strategy Focused
Although a feedback tool, semi-annual and/or annual performance reviews should be focused on the employee’s contribution (through goal achievement) to organizational strategy. Use annual reviews as an opportunity to:
- outline how the employee has participated in the execution of strategy
- illustrate how the employee has contributed to the overall success of the organization.
It can be months between a feedback-worthy event or work and the next review. So, managers should not save the feedback. They should provide it as soon as they can. Constructive feedback can result in immediate behaviour change, so why wait? Positive feedback can result in increased employee engagement and employees feeling appreciated. So again, why wait?
It is Timely
The ideal time to inform an employee of how they are doing is while they are performing the work or shortly after the work is complete. When mid-performance or immediately post-performance feedback is provided, everyone remembers what happened and the details of the event or work. Reflection is more natural as it is recent. The feedback can be
as it is related to recent memories and events that can be easily recollected.
It Acknowledges Desired Behaviour
Telling an employee when they have performed in a desirable way will encourage future similar behaviour. It is good for employees to know when they are performing well. It can motivate them to perform similarly in the future, and can even prompt them to strive to achieve more.
It Sets Expectations
Providing an employee with areas where they can improve is powerful. It allows them the opportunity to think, reflect, grow and immediately change their behaviours. Feedback delivers clear expectations and can motivate employees to work towards those expectations. Furthermore, feedback informs employees of exactly what they need to do to:
- reach desired targets
- achieve wanted performance
Additionally, feedback acknowledges that poor or even mediocre behaviour will not be tolerated, even temporarily.
Employees Want It
Feedback is valuable to employees. Most employees strive for growth and personal development. Constructive and positive feedback contributes to this development. In addition, feedback confirms to the employee that what they are doing is valuable. This is a fact that employees want to know. And once known, often increases their engagement.
It Provides Clarity
Feedback is a tool to ensure that managers, employees and the team are on the same page with reference to:
It identifies where employees should focus their energy and efforts and provides a clear picture of management’s priorities. As a result, employees can align their efforts with this focus and these priorities.
Feedback is an essential management tool. It should be constant and timely!