Based on my last blog that dealt with employee retention through strong leadership, you’ve completed an inward look at yourself, determined your goals, and assessed if you’ve conveyed those goals effectively to your team, right?
Ok…then the next step is to provide coaching and feedback to your team. Now more than ever, they need it. The more, the better!
The question is how and when? And my answer is…right after you’ve heard from them first!
Get Feedback Before You Give It
Job #1 is to realize everyone has something with which they are struggling. Our job as leaders and managers is to empathetically find it. Do you do that by questioning? Perhaps…some strong probing questions for sure (see below)…but mostly you’ll do it by listening. It’s been my experience lately that my clients’ employees have a lot to say…they just need someone to hear it. So before you jump into your feedback to them, get feedback FROM them. I guarantee it will change what you were going to say and relationally help you move forward with each employee.
Schedule Feedback Sessions Regularly
As noted above, a feedback session is a two-way street. And, these sessions must be conducted on a regular basis. I recommend you host them with each employee once a month. If you’re saying to yourself, “What the heck are we going to talk about once a month?” Don’t worry. There will be plenty! On your side, you’ll want to assess the employee’s output, quality of the work, and level of engagement. And part of that assessment is to learn where they think they are in those areas.
To help, here are some employee feedback questions you can ask:
- How have you been?
- How did this month roll out for you?
- What did you enjoy?
- What was challenging?
- What are your goals for the rest of the year?
- What issues are you concerned about?
- What would you personally like to strengthen?
- How do you want to be perceived by your peers and management?
- Would you like my help?
Show Empathy with Feedback
Take note of the first and last questions. Both of them demonstrate your empathy and caring. That’s huge as you develop employees! The last question is especially important. It hits the reset button on coaching and gives you the chance to establish a development plan you both can own. And then, each month you can review how the plan is going, whether the employee feels he/she got the help they needed, and then reset again for another month.
Give this a try with all your employees. Let me know how it goes! -SG