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Get tips on developing employees through feedback

Get tips on developing employees through feedbackImage Credit: Supplied

Feedback has been recognized to be one of the most powerful influences on the learning process (Hattie, 2009). Knowledge on successes and failures allows individuals to alter and direct their attention to the task or challenge at hand (Bandura, 1991; Locke & Latham, 1990).

Make sure to have a performance appraisal meeting that is separate from a compensation meeting, i.e., arrange a mid-year performance appraisal meeting and then an end-of-year ''pay/bonus'' meeting as a minimum. If the employee knows that bonuses will be discussed, he will be less likely to listen attentively and problem solve. By separating the discussion of ''pay'' and ''performance,'' the session becomes more of an open discussion about what an employee can do to progress and what an employer can do to support, mentions Michael Beer, a professor emeritus of business administration at Harvard Business School.

Initially, reflect on who would be most suited to giving feedback. Often, it is the direct manager or mentor. It is important that the individual who gives the feedback has good intentions. He should be sincere and open rather than giving the impression that it is a required task given to him by the company.

The location of choice would depend on the type of feedback; often a conference or meeting room is the most appropriate. If you feel a less formal venue is more applicable, you might want to discuss the feedback offsite, e.g., a quiet café. Feedback sessions should be done in privacy and should be treated with full discretion.

When giving feedback, make it specific rather than vague with guidance on improvement. Provide tangible steps to address weaknesses and motivate individuals to avoid future mistakes.

Feedback sessions should be carefully prepared for in advance. If it does not serve a constructive purpose, to develop an individual, then it should not be given at all.

Handy Hints:

• Feedback should be given consistently in a timely manner

• It must provide steps to address weaknesses and motivate

• It must be given to an individual with a constructive purpose

Here's an insight on the task of building world-class firms

Source: Nicola Turner, Special to Jobs & Careers

The writer is Organizational Psychologist, HRI&C