Feedback is a term that no employee escapes in a company. It designates the fact of giving to its interlocutor information on the effects produced by one of its actions, communications or one of its behaviors. There are several types of feedback, each with different objectives. Whatever the type of feedback, it must above all be constructive, that is to say, pursue a predefined objective and produce results. Indeed, giving successful feedback helps to motivate employees and improve their productivity. Thus, 40% of employees concede a disengagement when they receive little or no feedback according to an Officevibe survey.
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What do we mean by feedback?
Feedback comes from English and means “reaction”, “impression” or “return”. It is a tool used in management which must enable those who receive it to progress. Feedback should be fast, structured and multi-directional. It is feedback that contributes to improving the motivation of employees and increasing their performance.
The different feedbacks
Positive feedback, also called positive feedback, represents the fact of highlighting the good actions or the good work of an employee. This type of feedback is interesting to strengthen the commitment and motivation of the employee.
It is a positive tool that allows the employee to gain self-confidence and brings about better team cohesion.
Positive feedback is rewarding for the individual who receives it and allows the manager to show kindness in order to increase the productivity of his teams.
A positive feedback is above all an exchange, it is important that the interlocutor expresses his feelings. It must also be practiced hot and regularly.
Sandwich feedback consists of issuing a criticism and surrounding it with compliments. It’s about starting the discussion with positive facts followed by a negative criticism and ending with positive remarks. Like a sandwich, the criticism, is in the middle of the positive appreciations.
This allows the interlocutor to adopt a more receptive attitude and to create a favorable climate for discussion without upsetting one of the parties.
The 360 feedback or the 360 evaluation is a method for evaluating the employees of the company which can come in addition to the annual interview. This involves carrying out a complete analysis of the employee’s professional profile based on the comments of all the players in a company linked to him.
This allows the company to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the individual, and to have an objective image of its employee in terms of know-how, decision-making skills or even emotional intelligence.
The feedforward method consists of proposing options, solutions or making forward-looking requests.
This type of feedback makes it possible to make constructive suggestions aimed at inspiring the employee to improve in the future. It is not a question of giving advice or a recommendation, but of focusing on the expected points for improvement.
For example, don’t say “you should do this”, but rather “next time, you could do this. »
Corrective feedback is based on the principle of making constructive criticism of behavior and facts.
This encourages the employee to improve and learn from their mistakes. He himself rectifies his attitude or his work. Errors are not reproduced in the future.
7 tips for giving good feedback
- have a goal
- Start with the positive
- Criticize the job, not the person
- Demonstrate clarity and precision
- Adapt the feedback to the interlocutor
- Choose the right timing
- Give time to digest the information
have a goal
First of all, it is important to define the objective of the feedback: what information is to be conveyed and for what purpose? This may involve asking the employee to redo part of a report deemed unsatisfactory or inviting him to collaborate more with his partner on a specific project, for example.
Determining an objective and keeping it in mind helps structure the discourse throughout the exchange. Moreover, a constructive objective benefiting the employee and all the members of the team requires a good knowledge of its workforce, based on observation and regular exchanges.
Start with the positive
To give good feedback, it is essential to first address the positive aspects of the employee’s work, praising certain actions or behaviors. Without falling into the sandwich method, which consists of coating a criticism with compliments, it is possible to start the interview by acknowledging the work done, and the time spent on the realization of the project.
This type of encouraging and rewarding approach positions the manager in a constructive and benevolent posture and the employee in an attentive posture, in order to see in a second time the possible negative aspects so that these attract more his attention.
Criticize the job, not the person
Any feedback, especially if it is corrective or negative, must be supported by facts and focus on the work rather than the person of the interlocutor, like the FIRE model (Facts, Reactions, Interpretations, Ends). It is a question of getting out of value judgments such as “you are not motivated enough” or “you are always late”, which ultimately discredit the manager’s message, which do not serve his objective and can hold up the employee.
It may be useful to prepare 4 columns, with the facts, the reactions, the interpretations and the expected outcome, then to cross out everything that comes out of the facts. Thus the discussion can focus on facts (such as the presence of typos on a publication), rather than on interpretation (the person is lazy or does not care about the quality of the work), the reaction (frustration of the rest of the team), or on the expected outcome (a systematic review by the manager of all the work of the collaborator before publication).
This exercise is particularly difficult and requires preparation beforehand. This consists of observing and analyzing facts in order to measure factual data.
Demonstrate clarity and precision
In the same vein, feedback is more likely to be heard and acted upon if it is clearly and precisely expressed. Indeed, good feedback avoids formulations that could give rise to an interpretation, the words must be unequivocal.
Thus, care must be taken to give concrete and detailed examples of what did not work, which will make it possible to find areas for improvement together. Finally, the form remains important and the tone must not become brittle or aggressive.
Adapt the feedback to the interlocutor
Employees are more or less accustomed to and in demand for feedback according to their previous experiences and their personality in particular. Also, it is relevant to identify employees who are followers of the culture of feedback to give them regular positive feedback.
Conversely, more experienced collaborators who master their job very well would feel considered as beginners in the face of an abundance of encouraging feedback. It would then be wiser to highlight potential areas for improvement in order to challenge them.
In addition, in the event of a conflict situation between two individuals, certain feedback models make it possible to clarify the situation and ease tensions, such as the IDEAS model:
- Invite discussion: “Do you want to discuss the latest project? »
- Defuse the situation: “I just want to make sure I understand your point of view. »
- Eliminate guilt: “If our visions are different, we can look for a solution for future projects. »
- Asserting control of the interlocutor: “Does this suit you? »
- Specify a time limit: “I would like to be able to discuss it when you are available, and before the end of the day. »
But also, it can be useful to use the DESC method which is based on the following formulation:
- Describe the facts: “I noticed that I did not receive the report that I was supposed to receive. I was therefore unable to finalize the balance sheet. »
- Expressing your emotions: “I’m disappointed not to have received the file in the allotted time. »
- Specifying solutions: “What solutions can you offer me? »
- Conclude: “As agreed, you will review the statistics with the client and send me your report before the end of the day. I could thus prepare my balance sheet and send it to management. »
Choose the right timing
Timing is a determining factor in giving feedback. Indeed, congratulating a team six months after the success of a project has no impact, except that of minimizing this success, forgotten in the eyes of employees.
Hot feedback, that is to say shortly after the action in question, is generally more effective, because more listened to and taken into account. It can be beneficial in some situations to improvise by giving hot positive feedback to the employee if they have outdone themselves remarkably.
Give time to digest the information
Feedback can sometimes be difficult to accept, even if the forms have been put in place. If it turns out that the exchange is likely to weigh on the morale or the quality of the employee’s work, he must be offered the possibility of taking time off if necessary.
A break is often life-saving to digest the information, analyze it objectively and make decisions accordingly to then return to work in a better frame of mind.
Examples of successful feedback
For a successful presentation
When an employee has just made a success of his presentation in front of clients or internally, it is useful to give him positive feedback.
This could be, for example: “Congratulations on your very successful presentation. I noticed that you knew how to interact with the room, that you mastered your voice and your speech, that your slides were clear. It makes me want to entrust you with the same kind of responsibilities in the future. Cheer. »
To correct a behavior
When a collaborator arrives late, on a regular basis, it is possible to give him corrective feedback. This will allow criticism to be expressed constructively.
For example: “I noticed that this week you arrived at 10:15 a.m. on Tuesday and 10:30 a.m. on Thursday. I am embarrassed, it is difficult for me to make the rest of the team understand this time difference. Above all, that in the evening, you leave at the same time as the others. What could you put in place from now on to arrive at 9:30 am like everyone else? Can I help you find solutions to be punctual? “.
To review unsatisfactory work
Sometimes the work done by an employee is not entirely satisfactory. It is important to let him know so that he improves in the future and becomes aware of his mistakes.
The manager can then use the feedback sandwich: “Bravo for having been able to meet the tight deadlines for the rendering of the report. On the other hand, I noticed faults as well in the bottom as the form. It would be good to rectify them during the day, in order to be able to send it to management this evening. Don’t worry, overall, the work was pretty well done. »
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