I was recently delivering a people manager training session on how to give feedback. We were specifically talking about giving constructive feedback, and I asked the group why some of us struggle as managers to have those trickier conversations with our teams.
The responses varied from ‘…because I don’t like being negative towards anyone, especially when they’re working so hard’, to ‘…because I’m worried about their reaction’, to ‘…it’s often just easier to say nothing and ask someone else to do it’.
Whether you like it or not, giving feedback to your team is part of your management role, and it’s crucial for the business that you make time for it, even when it makes you feel uncomfortable or even a little bit nauseous: after all, it’s not about you!
If you don’t give feedback …
… how will your employee know when they’re doing something great, and they should do more of the same?
… how will your employee know that they’re not on the right track and need to do something differently?
… how will you find out if there are any gaps in their knowledge or experience that can easily be rectified?
… how will you find out if there’s something else going on with your employee and they need support?
… how can you build trust with your team if you don’t help them to improve in their role?
… how will you develop and grow in confidence as a people manager?
For all the above reasons, this is why giving feedback is a gift! Being brave and having those trickier conversations can have such a positive outcome in so many different ways, not least improved performance on an individual, team and company level.
And even if you stumble and don’t quite deliver the feedback in the best possible way the first few times you try, it’s much better to do it and learn from your experiences than it is to ignore performance or behavioural issues and let your employee carry on thinking all is fine. Failing to address your concerns will bring a whole host of other problems in the end!