When writing this article, my first thought was, “This is obvious, and we all know why this is important.” However, I reflected upon my own actions and realized that as obvious as it is, why don’t I do it as well as I could?
To understand the purpose of feedback, it’s important to see it from the perspectives of both the person receiving the feedback and those that give it. I would also like to encourage everyone to give feedback. Even if you are not in a supervisor or manager type position, feedback does many things, such as helps with employee morale, shows investment, and informs those involved as to what the priorities are.
1.) Who does not like getting praise?
Too often when we are talking with our clients or candidates about how things are going, I will hear, “Well, no news is good news right?” While that may be true (and I am as guilty of it as anyone), you may be missing opportunities to deliver positive feedback and praise. Giving positive feedback and praise can be difficult for some folks. The awkwardness you may feel when delivering positive feedback will be far outshined by the feelings the recipient will get from a genuine compliment.
2.) Nipping things in the bud.
We have all seen the situation at work where a minor issue emerges (loud music in a cube, formatting errors, etc.) and instead of approaching the person and providing on-the-spot coaching, we ignore it. Then two months later the issue has turned into something out of our control, your team morale is in shambles, and everyone is wondering, “How the heck did we get here?” Giving constructive feedback can be difficult for folks, especially those with a direct style of communication, as they can be interpreted as being harsh, cold, or lacking empathy. When you are tasked with giving constructive criticism, make sure to do it off the floor so the person receiving the feedback does not feel like they are being singled out. Also, make sure you know your audience. There is a terrific book called, Feedback That Works by Sloan Weitzel that gives several examples and scenarios of how to package your feedback effectively.
3.) Teamwork makes the dream work!
When you empower your employees to provide feedback (both to you and their teammates) you also foster a workplace that should hopefully embrace a healthy marketplace of idea swapping that promotes critical thinking, open discussion, and honest feedback (both positive and negative). Ultimately, people want to feel like they are being listened to and their ideas are being considered. I fully realize that sometimes you are going to have team members who you will clash with. By fostering an open communication policy, you will promote an environment where people feel safe discussing things like adults without fear of retribution, which should hopefully lead to happier employees, which will lead to more engaged employees, which will ultimately lead to less turnover. Isn’t that what we all strive for?
So far, 2021 has been a refreshing and much needed change compared to 2020. I encourage you to use some of the above tools to foster a more transparent work environment. I know these are hardly earth-shattering suggestions, but you would be surprised at how quickly some of these things go by the wayside when we get busy and trapped in our own world. Just a reminder, people do not leave jobs, they leave managers. With the marketplace remaining tight and not looking to change anytime soon, do you really want to risk losing an employee because you could not find 30 seconds to compliment someone on their work? Now, THAT is a conversation you do not want to have.
Omaha Account Manager Jonathan Miller graduated from the University of South Dakota with his degree in psychology. He joined the Celebrity Staff team in 2018 and has enjoyed building rapport with businesses and helping candidates build their careers. Outside of work he enjoys spending time with his family, including two beautiful daughters. He enjoys golfing and cheering for the Patriots.