It’s always a pleasure to give high-performing employees positive reinforcement during a performance review. On the other hand, giving colleagues constructive criticism in the same situation is challenging, because it discourages them. More and more managers are making regularly scheduled peer feedback sessions part of the process because it allows them an opportunity to address performance without involving salary appraisals or other negotiations. More importantly, peer feedback helps build a positive culture in your team and the whole organization.
If you’d like to embrace regular peer feedback as part of your performance review process, check out these tips.
Prepare in advance — Feedback meetings can involve difficult conversations; why not plan ahead for them? Preparing in advance for feedback meetings allows you to make your points with ease and confidence. That, in turn, allows you to help your employees improve and contribute toward achieving team goals.
Be clear — If you need to address subpar performance with an employee, it may seem like a good idea to sprinkle in some positives for balance. While this “spoonful of sugar” approach sounds good, if there’s a pressing performance to resolve, it’s important to be specific about what exactly you want to convey. You don’t need to add positive performance aspects just for the sake of having them.
Don’t let it be one-sided — If you want your employees to feel good about a feedback session, it’s important to encourage their participation. For example, if you want to talk about their negative performance and work toward solutions, ask them for input in planning improvements to their skillset and contributing to organizational success.
Support them — Before you give your employee feedback, put yourself in their shoes and try to get a feel for what hindrances they might be experiencing. Give them positive suggestions for self-improvement. Establish clear expectations, and explain how they can meet those expectations. Make sure a well-developed action plan is a takeaway from your meeting.
Provide clear takeaways — Summarize the main points discussed in the meeting and emphasize the action plan you and your employee have agreed to. State your expectations, the problems with their current performance, the practices they should adopt, and your solutions to help them improve.
Follow up — Feedback is purposeless unless it impacts employee performance. So, follow up and see if they need your help; this will help them stay motivated and productive.
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