Being a good manager isn’t an easy job. One of the hardest parts of being a manager is providing constructive feedback. Of course, the importance of providing feedback and appreciation for your employees cannot be stressed enough. According to a study, 43% of highly engaged employees receive feedback at least once a week. So, effective management comes with making people realize their full potential. As exciting as it sounds, providing feedback isn’t an easy task. Well-meaning managers can often end up counteracting their own efforts by approaching the employees in a wrong way. So, here are 5 mistakes that managers make while giving feedback.
Effective leadership is all about helping employees to discover their potential to the optimum level. So, providing constructive feedback is undoubtedly a crucial part of leadership and employee development. Also, it is a hard-driven fact that there is a fine line between constructive criticism and demolishing someone’s confidence. So, giving feedback is important, but you also need to give it correctly. According to Suzanne Lucas from EvilHRLady.org, giving feedback improperly is as bad as not giving feedback at all.
Providing constructive feedback might not be the priority on your to-do list, but it is extremely important to your leadership and management strategies. It is a part of building and maintaining employee relationships. Unfortunately, it can be easy to do a poor job in delivering valuable feedback. As a result, you can potentially leave your employees disengaged and miss out on an opportunity to help your employees improve. So, here are the 5 most common mistakes that managers make while giving feedback.
1. Being Too Critical
Of course, giving valuable feedback that actually brings a change is important. So, many managers make it a point of being too critical while giving feedback. However, making your feedback too critical can be a huge mistake. Giving overly critical feedbacks can make your employees lose confidence in their leadership. Doing it too often can ultimately make them dread interactions with managers, lose confidence and second guess their own abilities. This can make the employees too focused on avoiding failures than working on success. So, as a manager, you need to avoid being too critical and communicate failure effectively. Along with pointing out mistakes and room for improvements, do make an effort to praise and empathy while giving feedback.
2. Lack Of Specificity
Feedbacks seem to work best when they convey what impact does the employee’s job has on the company’s growth. Managers often make the mistake of avoiding specificity while giving feedback to further avoid confrontation. In such a situation, with vague feedback, the employees are left confused, unable to figure out what they should do. So, to ensure clarity, the feedback you provide must be specific and purposeful. Feedback must provide the employees a clear course for correcting their mistakes. Discussing details in the feedback of what are the employee’s mistakes, how and why they should improve is extremely critical.
3. Not Giving Feedback Regularly
Traditionally, most of the big companies follow the strategy of providing employees with annual or quarterly feedback. The biggest problem with this strategy is that sometimes the feedbacks aren’t immediately relevant and timely. Waiting so long to provide constructive feedback can complicate the situation. This also reduces the impact of feedbacks effectively and makes it difficult for employees to understand what changes they need to make. Naturally, when the information arrives too long after the mistake is made, the employees might not remember everything and cannot effectively make changes. So, make it a note to provide constructive feedback in regular intervals.
4. Letting The Complaints Pile Up
Let’s face the truth, providing constructive criticism creates an uncomfortable situation for both the manager as well as the employee. That’s why most managers avoid them and stockpile the complaints. They wait for the list of improvements longer and wait for a long time to set up a meeting with the employees to coach them for their mistakes. This may be unfair to employees because they may get overwhelmed by the long list of mistakes and correcting themselves. Stockpiling the complaints and putting them all together over the employees can be demoralizing and deflate your employees’ self-confidence. So, you need to check in with your employees frequently and correct them as you go.
5. Giving Only Positive Or Only Negative Feedback
Some managers are only driven to provide feedback positively because they believe that will make a difference. However, some managers believe harsh criticism is the only way to improve. However, giving feedback that is exclusively only positive or only negative can be very dangerous to your employee feedback strategy. To equip your employees to work better, you need to make them hear about what they’re doing good and what areas they need to make an improvement in. Steering the feedback in one direction can compromise the authenticity of feedback. So, you should make efforts in providing balanced feedback.