Feedback is not, in and of itself, just praise or criticism. It extends to the information about behavior, or the results of behavior, that is shared with the person responsible.
Employees want feedback, and for good reason. It gives them reassurance or fresh direction by letting them know whether they’re doing the right thing and doing it correctly. This tells them how to work smarter.
Feedback also motivates. It lets people know that their work is appreciated.
Here are questions to ask yourself before giving feedback to an employee:
• Is the employee ready to hear about job performance?
• Have I given him plenty of positive feedback recently? Will he be receptive to what I say now?
• What, exactly, would I like him to do differently?
• Can this feedback help him improve his performance, or is it just hurtful?
• Are there blaming labels that I need to avoid using when I give this feedback?
• Where should I give the feedback?
• When should I give the feedback? (Am I putting it off because I’m uncomfortable?)
• Am I prepared to answer all his questions in a constructive way?