Craving Feedback?

Craving feedback?

By Genevieve Primus, HR Consultant, myHRpro

In this day and age we all want to motivate our employees; however, many leaders lack the skills, knowledge, and ability to motivate and inspire their teams. There are many articles and theories out there on how to motivate employees, so I’m not going to focus on that.

What I really want to talk about is one of the simplest ways you can motivate your employees – through feedback. How many times have you been working for an employer and wondered, “am I doing a good job?” If you have ever asked yourself this question, then you probably were not getting regular feedback from your leader. If you want your employees to do what you want, you need to tell them! Part of this concept involves sharing with your employees how you feel they are doing on a consistent basis. There are a lot of feedback models out there, but simply put, some can be confusing and daunting. A feedback model that I learned from one of my former leaders, and have shared with many other leaders, really involves only three simple questions.

ASK:
Can I give you some feedback?

What went well?
What was challenging?
What would you do differently next time?

Would you like some feedback from me?

TELL:
What I thought went well…
What I thought was challenging… What I think you might do differently…

You can adapt this model for the specific situation you are facing with your employee. It can be used to discuss overall performance or to simply focus on a particular assignment. There are two important pieces in this model. First, is to ask your employee if you can give them some feedback. To have a successful feedback conversation your employee needs to be in the right frame of mind and be open to receiving feedback. There are some days, when it’s just not a good day. Second, is to ask your employee to tell you what they think is going well, challenging, and what they would do differently. That will give you some insight into how they perceive they are doing – if there is a big disconnect between how you view them and how they view themselves, perhaps feedback should be occurring more often.

If you do encounter resistance with this model one thing to check is the relationship you have with the employees you are providing feedback to. You may need to spend time getting to know your employees one-­‐on-­‐one so they will be more open to receiving feedback from you and this process. And don’t get discouraged, the more you embrace this model and use it on a daily basis, the more your employees will realize this is not just the flavor of the month, but a tool you will be using consistently.

So how does this all link back to motivating your employees? One of our most precious resources is time. When a leader shares some time with an employee the message is that they are important. Everyone wants to feel important. Not to mention this model also allows you to tell them what you feel is going well – which not only reinforces the positive behavior you want, but also gives the employee that “pat on the back.” What employee doesn’t want to hear that!

If you practice and remember these three questions you will be amazed at how versatile this feedback model really is. So, the next time you want to provide feedback to your employees, give this model a try. The more you use it, the easier it will be to adapt to other situations.

Genevieve Primus is a devoted Human Resources Professional with over 11 years of business leadership experience, including 6 years as a dedicated Human Resource Professional, focused mostly in the retail industry. Her core strengths include determining staffing needs and hiring for vacant positions, forecasting for future staffing requirements, developing programs to review and reward employees, identifying ways to keep employees, and developing future supervisors and managers.

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