How to effectively use different types of feedback
Feedback is a method of transmitting evaluative or corrective information about an event of action, which is used as a basis for improvement. In an organisation, feedback functions as checks and balances at all levels. Managers provide constructive feedback based on the daily operations of the staff. Additionally, the team provides employee feedback based on the practices of the managers.
Good feedback is a constant loop of input and outputs; its use is not to be boiled down to harmful practices like micromanaging, feedback whether negative or positive, is made with the intention of providing tools to the addressee to adapt and grow, and become better versions of themselves.
In this post, we look at four feedback types, and offer some tips on how to use them effectively
Positive feedback is the kind of feedback that we all enjoy. With this form of feedback, the speaker expands upon their appreciation and provides positive remarks on employee performance. This type of feedback is vital because it reinforces good behaviors.
Tips on Positive Feedback:
1. Go into detail about the behavior being rewarded
2. Emphasize the team’s effectiveness, don’t focus too heavily on one person
3. Consistently share your feedback with team members
4. Be generous with your rewards and genuine with your praises
Positive feedforward provides the addressee with affirming remarks that can also be used as a motivation to produce more of their best work. The distinction between positive feedback and feedforward is its emphasis on the future. Here the speaker attempts to deliver a formative assessment that will directly affect the addressee’s future behaviours.
Tips on Positive Feedforward:
1. Give the addressee clear expectations
2. Provide achievable targets and essential deadlines.
3. Keep the addressee updated
4. Have a record of employee progress
Without warning, negative feedback can feel like an attack. Many people hate giving negative feedback. However, when used correctly, it can be effective. Negative feedback is formative as it points explicitly out the behaviors or events which are to be avoided, and it follows with a summative discussion on the effects of this behavior and how they are to be avoided in the future.
Tips on Negative Feedback:
1. Give your feedback in private, to avoid embarrassing situations
2. Make the conversation a collaborative one, arrive at your desired conclusion together by utilizing self-assessment
3. Do not put off difficult conversations and then unload all the shortcomings in one discussion.
4. Emphasize what needs to be done, provide a solution, and set goals with the addressee
Like positive feedforward, negative feedforward is commenting on future behavior. These behaviors, however, are those which should be avoided. This type of feedback is effective in tackling bad habits and malpractice.
Tips on Negative feedforward
1. Identify the areas where the addressee can grow/ improve in the future and frame it as a learning process
2. Encourage effective behaviors while discouraging negative ones
3. Make yourself accountable for the results, reflect on your methods of communication and how they can affect the desired results
4. Keep a record of progress (goal setting)
Tips on giving effective feedback without inducing anxiety
Evaluative feedback can be delivered is many forms such as oral, written. Regardless if it is formal feedback, or informal feedback what matters is that the delivery and the quality of the feedback are clear, structured, and progressive. If that is not the case, feedback might foster an anxious work environment where everyone avoids you so as not to upset you, or everyone is constantly hounding you for your approval.
Here are some tips to make sure feedback in your team is not a source of discomfort and anxiety:
- Act immediately
- Pick the right time and place to deliver feedback
- Be specific and use examples
- Avoid negative language
- Implement regular performance reviews
- Take note of peer feedback
- Use self-feedback to ensure you are always on track
In the end, the effective use of feedback is an important tool, both in the effective management of your team and for your team’s personal and professional development, as well as yours.
Streamline your feedback processes with Roots
At Roots we build tools that help make your HR and team management processes easier, all within the comfort of your Slack workspace.
Our 1-on-1 plugin enables you to easily schedule recurring meetings with your direct reports, and offers opportunities to add discussion points and tasks that can be invaluable tools in ensuring you hit your mentoring and learning goals.
But creating a better workplace doesn’t stop at 1-on-1s. We have a host of Slack-based tools that will help you make the workplace better, and your processes easier.