Provide Feedback to Employee

One of the key responsibilities of a supervisor is to manage the performance actions, behaviors and results of employees throughout the year. One of the ways this is done is through coaching.

What is coaching?

Coaching is:

  • Observing and monitoring performance throughout the year
  • Providing regular, timely constructive feedback, both positive and negative
  • Documenting performance, both positive and negative

What is feedback?

Feedback is giving timely and specific information about job performance based on recent experience or observations that include praise or constructive criticism.

The feedback between supervisor and employee can be either formal (given in a scheduled meeting) or informal (in casual conversation). Employees are encouraged to ask for feedback from the supervisor and others.

Advantages of continuous feedback:

  • It’s a powerful way of motivating people.
  • Giving feedback helps build relationships.
  • It improves efficiency in that through feedback there are opportunities to adjust goals leading to better results.
  • It provides documentation that helps identify employee strengths and manage their areas for improvement.
  • Timely feedback enhances results.

All feedback is constructive. Positive feedback is just as important as negative. It can build the employee’s confidence, self esteem, commitment, and loyalty.

The most common statement from employees when discussing non-monetary rewards and recognition is “a simple thank you from my boss would go a long way.” People want feedback -- they especially want to be recognized and appreciated for a job well done. Similarly, supervisors also need to hear from their employees when they perform well.

Find situations when there is an opportunity to give positive feedback (to an employee or supervisor) and make sure to follow through.

If you are giving positive feedback, remember to choose a place and medium which are comfortable for the receiver. For example, some people are embarrassed by public acknowledgments and, therefore, might prefer a one-on-one thank you rather than an announcement in a department meeting.

Tips and Techniques:

If you are giving negative feedback, it should always:

  • be private and confidential
  • be immediate (the sooner the feedback, the more effective it is in influencing behavior)
  • be specific, refer to specific behaviors and outcomes
  • give feedback on performance, not personality
  • include the opportunity to improve performance
  • include something positive

Steps to follow when delivering negative feedback:

  • Categorize and specify performance problem(s)
  • Listen and summarize employee response
  • Offer your view
  • Give examples of occasions where employee has demonstrated ability in this area (e.g., Employee has demonstrated a strength in meeting deadlines and keeping manager informed of project status on projects with a short turnaround time. Employee should be encouraged to apply the same methodology to longer term projects where there exists a weakness in meeting deadlines.)
  • Specify appropriate performance
  •  Review downside of no change
  • Develop goal and action plan

Document Performance

Reasons to Document Performance:

  • To acknowledge good performance
  • To express concern with continued poor performance
  • To help in the coaching process of improving performance
  • To help in determining performance evaluation
  • To support performance ratings

The Importance of Documenting

Documentation serves as a valuable resource during the Coaching and Evaluating phases. By documenting throughout the year, both an employee and a supervisor can rely on a written reference when completing the evaluation, rather than on just memory. Documentation, therefore, allows one to:

  • offer a more objective and complete evaluation by minimizing the bias toward recent events
  • save time during the evaluation by having a written reference
  • support the feedback process by providing specific examples of performance

Properly recorded documentation should be:

  • timely
  • specific
  • based on performance - not personality
  • related to performance standards and policies and procedures

Supervisors should consider using a standard form in order to keep documentation consistent.

Documentation can be shared with the employee when recorded and/or during the evaluation meeting.

As an employee, you will also want to maintain a record of your accomplishments to remind yourself and your supervisor of your performance during the year. You may want to keep a portfolio handy, in which you place reminders of your achievements, including such things as work samples, thank you letters, project results, etc.

Create a Performance Improvement Plan

If performance evaluation results in an assessment of sub-standard performance, a supervisor should follow these steps:

  • Complete the evaluation form and send to Human Resources with a performance improvement plan attached. Note on front page of evaluation form the date that performance will be evaluated again (no later than 90 days).
  • List the specific duties and responsibilities which are not being performed in an acceptable manner.
  • Note the actions that have been and will be taken to improve performance.
  • Schedule a regular series of one-on-one meetings to review progress. Determine what issues could be negatively impacting performance.
  • Continue in the progressive disciplinary process, noting that performance is unsatisfactory and must be improved or further discipline such as a freeze on pay or discharge may result.

If you need more information or assistance with the discipline process, contact your next level of management and/or Human Resources.

An across the board increase withheld or postponed due to performance deficiencies or non-adherence to policies will not be retroactive.