A Quick Look at Feedback

Performance feedback should never be reserved just for the annual evaluation meeting to discuss employee progress and behavior. It should be constant and on-going. The goal is to provide employees with effective performance feedback, which in turn, can be a powerful motivational tool and the basis for individual development.

It is important to understand how feedback should be delivered to achieve optimum results. The FAST technique will help deliver personalized, motivating, and valuable feedback to employees.

 Frequent – Frequent feedback is important so that employees can reflect on their performance and make necessary corrections to meet and/or exceed performance standards. Feedback should be given in a private setting so that dialogue may be unencumbered.

 Accurate – Employees expect accurate information about their performance. Performance assessments should be based on supervisory observations and factual information, not on other’s perceptions or hearsay.

 Specific – Feedback should be substantiated with examples of specific behaviors and performance data. General feedback, such as “You’re doing a great job,” is ambiguous and does not specifically indicate strengths or weaknesses. A more specific comment such as, “You did a great job on conducting the client satisfaction survey,” provides more guidance to the employee on what she is doing well.

 Timely – Feedback is more effective and motivational when it is given relatively close to the time the behavior occurs. Timely feedback keeps situations fresh in employees’ minds. Feedback that is postponed may no longer be as relevant, thus losing its impact. Remaining focused on present situations and their relevance to future performance will help employees feel empowered and will encourage them to improve their performance.

As a manager, keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities to praise or provide corrective recommendations to your employees Feedback is a valuable tool for individual productivity and the overall performance of the organziation.

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