Do you give good feedback?
We give feedback all the time in our personal lives, even if we don’t think of it that way. “Could you turn the volume up a little?” “I love that color on you.” “Pass the salt, please.” These personal kinds of feedback, even “pass the salt,” are aimed at improving things, making things better for ourselves and/or others. They come fairly naturally to us.
Why is it then that when we enter the workplace, giving feedback becomes less natural, sometimes even scary? I think it is because we lose sight of what is supposed to happen on the other side of feedback. The goal of feedback is improvement — making it or maintaining it.
When a manager tells an employee, “great job,” that manager is giving feedback that reinforces what the employee did right, the improved situation that now exists thanks to their actions. When managers give feedback that suggests, or even demands, doing things a different way, they are pointing to a situation that could exist, that they want to exist.
Because the workplace and the things that need to happen to create success are dynamic, sometimes changing daily, managers need to be giving feedback frequently. There are always things being done well that need to be reinforced, and things to be done differently, or better, that need to be redirected.
If you are doing that, continually helping your employees to move forward, either with changes or by staying on the same path, you are giving good feedback.