How to Give Employees Honest Feedback Tactfully

Posted on: in [ Communication, Employee Development, Management Development, Supervisory Training ]

How to Give Employees Honest Feedback Tactfully

Providing feedback to employees can be a difficult and nerve-racking task. It’s somewhat of a balancing act to tell employees what areas they’re excelling in and where improvement is needed. So how do you effectively and tactfully sit down with employees to share your honest feedback? You start with these five tips.

The Negative Should Equal the Positive: For every one area of improvement, there should be one area they’re excelling in. Pointing out only where they could improve leads to defensiveness and may cause your employee to not absorb other feedback you provide. Providing positive feedback lends to people being open to direction and change.

Give Feedback Frequently: If you have a one-on-one with your employees on a weekly, biweekly or monthly basis, utilize this time to present feedback. Waiting for their annual review to point out room for improvement on something they did five months earlier doesn’t lend to improved work. Having these open conversations on a regular basis also makes for easier and more relaxed annual reviews.

Provide S.M.A.R.T. Goals: You’re probably familiar with S.M.A.R.T. goals, meaning they’re specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. As you provide feedback, you may want to help guide your employee in how they can improve with a S.M.A.R.T. goal. Instead of being vague, which can be left open to interpretation, these goals are made to be achieved.

It’s a Two-Way Street: Allow your employees to participate in these feedback meetings. They may provide insight into a larger underlying issue that could be affecting the whole team or company. There are always two sides to a story so allowing them to share their point of view or admit if something’s going wrong can better help solve a problem.

Focus on the End Goal: With your conversation started and the S.M.A.R.T. goals in place, it’s important to stay focused on the improvement and not what went wrong. Remember to encourage your employees to keep working towards their goals and support them with the resources to help achieve their goals.

These conversations are never easy and it takes practice to get where comfortable with having them. With these tips, we hope the next time you’re providing feedback you’re able to get the information needed across to your employee tactfully and kindly. For more assistance when it comes to developing your HR or management team contact us today.