The best way to improve performance is to constantly provide constructive criticism and feedback. Without feedback and suggestions work feels like walking blindly ahead which eventually reflects poorly on your performance. The best way to overcome this is to receive effective feedback on a periodic basis. When feedback is received, one must adjust their strategies, methods and performance goals accordingly to enhance the output of a given task.
If you are an employer, know that giving your employees a status on their progress is an important part of allowing them to achieve success and grow as professionals. You can let them know what is working and what is not working. Feedback usually comes from supervisors, peers, manager’s customers and measurement systems.
So how do you go about measuring the effectiveness of feedback? Here are a few guidelines.
An employee should always have information about how well they are doing as far as timelines and deadlines are concerned. Timelines set one of the major basis of measuring the efficiency of your performance. If employees reach or exceed goals in a short period of time, they should receive positive feedback to stay motivated and feel rewarded. However, if they are lagging behind then you will have to assess the issue directly by providing constructive criticism to help them get back on track.
Feedback only works when it is related to a specific goal. Establishing performance before a task is complete or before actual work begins could be detrimental to the employee’s performance. Feedback should always be objective, powerful and more importantly, something that can be worked on. Employees need specific information. Letting them know that they have exceeded a goal by 15% rather than just giving them a pat on the back defines their opinion on their performance.
The manner in which you provide feedback can make or break an employee’s performance. People respond better to positive and objective feedback rather than to direct criticisms and a harsh tone. Information must not be sugar-coated but should be factual and accurate. Feedback is a natural process of a professional workplace. Constant criticism will undermine an employee and push their performance below an optimal level. However, positive and constructive feedback can help elevate their performance and encourage initiative.
When an employee performs well it must be recognized as part of their performance appraisal. This ensures that they work smart with the knowledge that they will be rewarded for good work. An appraisal can add value to not only the employee’s performance but more importantly to the organization. Real-time feedback provides guidance and improves planning, development and task completion. This can be done by providing developmental opportunities, salary increases, merit pay, severance programs or promotions. The negative performance will incur demotion, reassessment, training or in the worst case, termination.
It is important to track the performance of employees throughout the year and periodically sit down with them to take a look at their performance. This gives employees a sense of satisfaction and the knowledge of where they stand in the organization. The frequent performance feedback system is key to the success of the employee, employer and the organization as a whole.
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