Performance Management and Giving Performance Improvement Feedback

Performance Management and Giving Performance Improvement Feedback


Are you a small business owner looking for tips about how to give proper and helpful performance feedback to your staff without offending them or causing them to become defensive?


Hi! I’m Sheryl Wolowyk from myHRpro and this human resource video is one in a series about Performance Management. As I’ve acknowledged in my other human resources videos, when most people hear the term Performance Management, they think of Performance Appraisals – that dreaded meeting at which you sit down with an employee and tell them how they performed throughout the year. Well, in some businesses, these are useful. But the general opinion of my expert consulting team here at myHRpro is that Performance Appraisals are unnecessary and can be avoided if you provide affective feedback to your employees on an ongoing basis.


I’m going to give you some tips on how to give expert performance feedback, but first I want to tell you three reasons why your organization and staff will benefit from your continual and timely performance feedback. Performance appraisals usually only occur once a year, maybe twice. Giving performance feedback on a regular basis will benefit your staff three ways:

  1. The first way feedback will help your employees is that poor performance is caught and corrected immediately, preventing employees from developing bad habits. This will allow you to plan steps for performance improvement.
  2. The second way Performance Feedback helps your staff and organization is that it allows your employees to recognize their weaknesses and work on developing stronger skills in those areas. It also allows them to recognize their strengths and use them and develop them to the benefit of the whole organization.
  3. The third way giving Feedback helps your organization is through the constant dialogue you have with your employees. Performance feedback conversations will help you develop stronger relationships with your colleagues, thereby creating a stronger sense of team.


Now that we know the benefits of giving ongoing performance feedback, here are 5 tips to make this task easier.

  1. You, as an employer, may avoid giving feedback because you worry about the reaction of your employee — they may get angry and defensive, or upset and emotional. These reactions should not stop you from giving feedback, and one way to help you overcome this obstacle is to keep the reason for giving performance feedback in the top of your mind. Always think that, through your coaching, you will make this person a better employee, a stronger individual and a better team member of your organization. Furthermore, communicate this intention to your employee to help them understand that you are giving feedback to help them, not to beat them down or belittle them.
  2. Give specific feedback. Whether it is something positive, like you really appreciate the hard work they did on a certain project, or negative, such as not liking how they dealt with a certain customer, give your employees specific examples of what they did right or wrong so they understand clearly the behaviour you expect from them. This helps employees with performance improvement and assures they will be more successful in their jobs.
  3. Give the feedback as soon as possible. By immediately correcting poor performance or complementing your employees on a job well done, you lose the risk of the employees forgetting what they did or when it happened. You may wish to postpone slightly if you are amongst other staff members, customers or clients, but be sure to provide your performance feedback at the first appropriate moment. Timely coaching is essential for performance improvement and performance management.
  4. When you give performance feedback to an employee, observe your own behaviour. Ensure that you are 100% committed to the conversation. Ensure that it is in private, face-to-face, and with no distractions (no phones, emails, other interruptions). Effective performance management requires you to be present and fully engaged in the coaching.
  5. The last tip I have for you to make sure you and your employees get the most out of performance feedback and coaching is for you to listen intently to your employees’ response to your feedback. Make sure they understand what you are saying and why you are saying it. Clear up any miscommunications immediately to avoid emotional stress and resentful feelings. The employee may remember the instance differently than how you observed it or have reasons for doing what they did. Ensure these differences are communicated from both sides.


I hope you find these tips for giving performance feedback, performance improvement and performance management helpful. As I said earlier, by continuously giving feedback in this way, your employees will be able to learn and grow and become high performers. To take a self-assessment to find out your strengths and weaknesses with respect to giving feedback, go to our website at


Also be sure to visit our website for your downloadable SMART goal setting template, performance plan template and tip sheets on how to give feedback. You can also visit our website to find more hr forms and hr articles or for more information about how to ensure your employee goals get met.