In an excellent piece of research by Leadership IQ ‘Employees Are Desperate for Feedback’ they highlight a significant issue about the quality of performance feedback that employees are getting. They say
• 53% of employees who said their boss gave them praise for excellent performance said the feedback did not give them enough useful information to help them repeat it
• 65% of those who received criticism said they did not get enough useful information to help them correct the issue
Now at the risk of stating the obvious, that’s an awful lot of managers giving performance feedback – both praise and criticism – that’s likely to be pretty ineffective (in terms of improving employee performance anyway!)
So, what can managers do to ensure their performance feedback helps employees to either a) repeat outstanding performance or b) correct a performance issue?
Leadership IQ go on to say
Employees need information about their performance which is Timely, Specific and Candid
Now it’s fair to say that I’ve written a lot about how to give praise and how to give criticism. Without simply repeating myself here are some key points aimed at helping you give your employees the ‘useful information’ they need
Performance Feedback: Giving Praise
In order for praise to be useful it needs to be detailed. Managers need to explain
• Specifically what the employee has done (actions) and
• Specifically why what they have done has been so effective (results)
The following method can help:
• When you….
• What happened was…
• And the result is….
When I showed Client B the research you had done on their business she said she was really impressed by the detail of your analysis – particularly on X – and the insights you had provided. I can see from your report that you have used a number of different sources for your research, for example Y and Z, which has given you the detail the client so appreciated. The result is she wants us to make a proposal for a further piece of business which is a great outcome for us as they are a key client. Thank you and well done
The key point here is that if managers can explain, in detail, what the employee did that’s so effective, then the employee is more likely to repeat what they did. Enough said!
Read more on giving praise HERE
Performance Feedback: Giving Criticism
The easiest way I know of giving criticism on performance is to use a simple model called ARC
Action: what, specifically the employee is doing that’s causing a problem
Result: the result of those actions
Consequence: The consequence to the business of those actions
(see the similarity with the model for ‘giving praise’?)
Action ‘When you do X’
Result ‘It results in Z’
Consequence ‘So it does not help to get to Y’
(Read more on how to use ARC HERE)
Performance Feedback Summary
In my video ‘Motivating Your Staff to Improve Their Performance with Positive Criticism’ I teach managers how to give constructive criticism to their staff in a way that the staff member finds easy to understand and easy to accept and which significantly improves staff performance (using ARC) . Take a look at the video details and find out how to watch a preview session from the video HERE
Or, if you prefer to read, take a look at my e-book HERE