One of the most powerful tools any manager or trainer can have is the ability to give constructive performance feedback. Effective feedback helps employees to learn how their attitude, skills and behaviour is impacting their performance, their team and the customers whom they serve.
But too often mangers (many without realising it) either fail to provide feedback altogether or give poor feedback which demotivates and disengages their team members, which runs the risk of contributing to future poor performance.
So, let’s see how you can use our simple 5 step model to giving performance feedback that works?
The goal of giving feedback is to achieve two things.
Giving positive feedback can be something as simple as a ‘thank you’ or personal compliment. Done often this will help to motivate and encourage your team to keep doing good work.
After all, don’t we all like to know when we are doing a good job.
The challenge of giving negative feedback is that you need to deliver it in a way that helps build and strengthen your relationship with the employee as well as encouraging them to change their behaviour or attitude. This way the employee understands that the feedback was given to help them and not just as a form of criticism.
The golden rule of giving negative feedback to improve performance is that it needs to be a conversation, and not just the manager telling the employee what they did or did not do.
The risk of one way feedback is that because the employee can discuss or defend their actions it increases the likelihood that they will become demotivated and take the feedback as a personal attack.
The rule to giving both positive and negative feedback is to:
Welcome the PEEDA the performance feedback conversation model. A simple and easy 5 stage model you can use to have a performance management conversation.
PEEDAR is an acronym that stands for
So, let’s look at each of the PEEDA steps
You begin the conversation by highlighting the purpose of the discussion, this helps explain to the employee WHY you are having the conversation,
The purpose also helps to set the tone of the conversation, for example, beginning a conversation with
‘I am a little concerned about what happened in that meeting and I want to discuss it with you’
will create a different response to
‘This is the third and final time that I am prepared to talk to you about your aggressive behaviour in the team meetings.'
In the next step, you need to highlight the standards of service, or team behaviours that you expect. You can even discuss your own feelings about the employees work or actions.
By discussing the expectations, you create a very clear boundary around the discussion helping to identify what good performance looks like, and how you are measuring their recent performance.
“In team meetings, I expect that all employees have the opportunity to be able to voice their opinions without being yelled at or intimidated”
The next stage is to provide relevant and recent examples where the employee has demonstrated examples of their performance or behaviour.
You need to use current facts and data that support the discussion. These could be examples of work they have done, feedback from others as well as your own observations.
‘I have noticed in the last two team meetings you have responded aggressively when others in the team disagreed with your point of view. ’
Providing facts helps to focus the discussion on the employee and their performance or behaviour and not them as a person.
The discussion phase should be the longest part of the conversation as it allows you and the employee to discuss each of the examples in more detail.
“Can you tell me why you reacted that way?”
Your aim is to get them to do most of the talking and you do this by asking questions that encourage the employee to think about each example in 3 ways.
Here you can help them to identify what are the areas they feel they should continue doing and what do they need to focus on improving
To help the conversation achieve its purpose always refer to the previous 3 steps to prevent it from breaking down or losing its impact.
‘I want to discuss your behaviour, not anyone else’s. I will discuss other team members behaviour issues with them directly’
It is also important to understand that an employee’s behaviour or performance can be affected by external issues such as lack of resources, lack of support or other factors. These should be identified in the discussion phase.
The final stage is to agree on actions and next steps for both the employee and you their manager. Ask the employee to commit and take ownership of their behaviour and the potential impact it has.
‘Ok so we have discussed how by you getting aggressive in team meetings is causing friction with others. In the future if you disagree with any points raised what are you going to do differently?’
And finally seek agreement...........
Are you prepared to do this?
Obviously, you need to approve their decision and give feedback about how you can support or manage their behaviour moving forward.
By following the PEEDA model you should have identified all the causes of any negative behaviour. When done correctly both parties leave with a sense of purpose with the guidance and expectations of what needs to be done next.
So, there we have it the PEEDA feedback conversation model; use it next time you are giving constructive feedback for performance management.
Let us know your thoughts.
I have been involved in Learning & Development for over 15 years in Australia, and the UK. Having worked with a range of public and private business in both private and public sector. I have seen a lot of what works and also a lot of what doesn't. I believe that with the right tools, guidance and support anyone can train better on the job.