The golden rule of good performance feedback

So it’s performance feedback time! How do you feel about this part of the performance management process? It certainly comes more easily to some managers more than others, with many dreading it in my experience. So what is the golden rule?

The golden rule of performance feedback is really quite simple. It’s about making it timely. Giving the performance feedback as close to the actual performance as possible. Don’t save it all up for the couple of review meetings during the year. Now I know this is not always achievable, and for those of us that have not been great at doing this during the year, here are some ways to do this well at your end of year review meetings with your teams:

  • Assess the readiness or appetite for performance feedback in the individual you’re speaking to, e.g. check in with them.
  • Focus on actions and on behaviours, not on the person! Imagine you were getting the performance feedback, how would you like to hear it?
  • Be specific and give a data-based example of what you are talking about, ideally an example familiar to the individual.
  • Balance – be ready to give both positive and constructive performance feedback. We’ve all heard of the feedback sandwich; don’t follow it literally, it may come across as superficial and overly processed. Just remember to be balanced!
  • Check in again to make sure they’ve heard what you’ve said and that they are not overly focused on the constructive side. Also make sure they are not taking it personally.

So finish off those 2012 review meetings and get ready for a performance feedback filled 2013!

 

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