How to Offer Constructive Feedback to Your Employees

May 4, 2011 contributor Scott Halford recently offered small business owners advice on how to best offer feedback to employees.

“Giving feedback to your colleagues and employees provides them with an observer’s insight into how their performance is progressing, as well as advice to solve any problems,” he wrote. “But, for a number of people, hearing the six words, ‘Can I give you some feedback?’ generates fear and anxiety. The words go through a translator in our brain and are heard as, ‘Can I completely tear you down?’ It can be perceived that the person giving the feedback is somehow superior to the person receiving it, putting the receiver on the defense.”

Small business owners can provide thoughtful, well-received feedback by creating safety, being positive, being specific, being immediate, and being tough, not mean, according to Halford.

With those five steps in place, Halford advises to, “Next, give the objective, specific, forward-moving type of feedback,” he wrote. “Ask if he or she understands everything you expect. Inform the person that he or she is being graded and that you’re there to help him or her succeed. As the saying goes: ‘People have a habit of becoming what you encourage them to be, not what you nag them to be.'”

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