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By Darryl Stewart

Tips for employee feedback

By Darryl Stewart, Head of the Herd

A big part of employee engagement is knowing how to provide feedback, both positive and negative, to your team.  Here is a compilation of useful tips, gleaned from the experts.

Give it to them straight.

Feedback arrowsWhen behaviors are observed that run contrary to expectations, you need to have the courage to take the employee aside and tell them the truth. Don’t put your head in the sand and hope the issue resolves itself. Yes it can be uncomfortable for both parties – but this is what managers are paid to do.

Don’t make the mistake of protecting people’s feelings at the expense of the truth, because without your honest feedback they will not see the need to improve.

When things go wrong – avoid praising effort.

“At least you gave it a good effort.” It sounds encouraging and positive, but studies show that consoling people for the amount of effort they put in when they fail – actually makes people feel less worthy and less capable.

Instead, share your positive belief in the employee and that success can be achieved if they take the right actions. Focus on things that are within their power to control. Be specific about what needs to happen, and help them figure out what tangible steps they can take to improve. Helping your employee figure out how to do it right is just as important as letting them know what they are doing wrong.

When things go right – avoid praising ability.

“You’re a great people person.” It sounds positive, but studies show that when we are praised for having high ability, it makes us vulnerable to self-doubt when we encounter difficulty later on (this concept applies to the way we praise children as well).

Instead, praise the aspects of your employee’s performance that were under their control.  Praise the observable actions they took – not the person. For example, talk about their creative ideas, their careful planning, their determination to see the task through to the end etc. That way, when they run into difficulties in the future, they will remember what behaviors helped them to succeed in the past and put these to good use.

IBEX Payroll extends our profound respect and immeasurable gratitude to all the ancestors and keepers of the land on whose traditional territories our work takes place. We acknowledge that we are on Treaty 1 territory, the traditional gathering place of the Anishinaabe, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota and Dene people and the traditional homeland of the Métis people. This land is sacred, historical, and significant. 

Every time we acknowledge this truth, we have an invitation and an opportunity to reflect on the wrongs of the past, what we do in the present, and what we can do to continually honour the people whose lands and water we benefit from today. 

This statement only acts as a first step in honouring the land we reside on and its peoples, and must be paired with education, understanding and informed action.