4 Steps to Highly Effective Employee Feedback4 Steps to Highly Effective Employee Feedback
Most managers will say they value feedback from their employees. They will say they have an open door policy and regularly communicate with their workers; therefore, they have their thumb on the pulse of morale. That said, however, many mangers admit they do not have a formal process in place to evaluate their employees. That is a big mistake.
February 19, 2014
Most managers will say they value feedback from their employees. They will say they have an open door policy and regularly communicate with their workers; therefore, they have their thumb on the pulse of morale.
That said, however, many mangers admit they do not have a formal process in place to evaluate their employees. That is a big mistake. Managers should never assume their reports share the same vision, know where they are falling short or realize they are appreciated and doing a good job.
In fact, according to a recent study, 44 percent of managers said they did not use a standard model for providing employees feedback, according to a synopsis by Kevin Higgins, CEO of Fusion Learning. So while managers may say they understand the importance of employee feedback, it is not done regularly. And if they are done, many times it is the wrong way.
Higgins divides most manager feedback into two buckets: sandwich feedback or seagull feedback—neither of which are very effective or motivational. "Sandwich feedback" is when the manager sandwiches the employee’s thoughts between telling them what they did wrong and what they need to do better. "Seagull feedback" is when the manager flies in, "poops" on the employee’s efforts and flies off, Higgins wrote.
Rather, he said, Higgins believes a two-way feedback conversation is the most effective.
Fusion works with customers including Disney, Expedia, Pfizer, TD Bank and 3M on these processes, as well as others. In an article titled, “Effective Feedback is Not a Sandwich or a Seagull” he outlines four key steps managers need to take to foster more effective employee communications and feedback. It all revolves around two-way communications that makes the employee feel more valued.
Ask the performer what they did well.
You add what you feel they did well.
Ask the performer what they will do differently next time.
You add what you would suggest they do differently next time.
“Steps one and two build confidence. We need confident team members. Steps three and four build skill. All four steps create a confident, skilled and engaged team member,” Higgins wrote.
While all four of these steps are critical, they don’t all necessarily carry the same weight depending on the employee. Managers should know where to concentrate their efforts if they are in touch at all.
Sometimes it’s the most obvious things that don’t get done. Gathering true employee feedback is critical not only to improve processes and gain insight into an organization, it also is important for morale. And let’s face it, unless it is a formal process around it, it will never get done.
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