How To Manage The Feedback Process
From internet reviews to quarterly appraisals, we are faced with what can feel like a barrage of feedback in our business lives. It’s important to learn how to manage feedback effectively and understand the thought process behind it.
If you are a HR professional, you might find yourself in a position where you need to teach other managers how to handle appraisals and other mentoring sessions with the employees they manage. You may also be responsible for the welfare of employees if they are subjected to negative customer feedback.
Below, we’ve listed some of the most common types of feedback you might encounter, and how to successfully navigate your way around them.
Whether you are directly responsible for this or not, if you work in HR the personnel of the company are your responsibility and you need to ensure that there is consistent protocol across the board. If there’s a Marketing or Customer Service team, it’s worth ensuring that they have a policy in place for dealing with negative online reviews.
You can also work with the management of those teams to implement a training day, ensuring that all members of staff who might deal with negative reviews can successfully respond to them in a consistent and timely fashion.
You can use the internet to research negative review response examples, which will give you a step-by-step methodology of what to include in your policy. This will include things like responding in a timely way, keeping an online response brief and making a public statement before suggesting the conversation moves offline.
UK retailer Tesco are a good example of how to manage a social media account successfully and avoid online disputes turning into Twitter-based bickering.
Negative Employee Feedback
We might want to call this ‘constructive’ employee feedback, rather than negative, although it amounts to the same thing.
Ultimately, you are identifying a workplace behavior and addressing how you want to change it.
However, this is often a process which employees can become defensive about. Nobody likes to be told what to do and the way in which you go about this can have a significant impact on how the employee responds. You might not be imparting the feedback yourself but instead discussing with a manager how they will go about the process. Here are some important things to remind them of:
- Don’t deliver the feedback when angry or upset.
- Although it is important to give the critique as close to the incident occurring as possible, if tempers are running high then there’s also nothing wrong with setting a meeting for the next day.
- Focus on the observed behavior and not the person.
- Ensure that the negative feedback cannot be construed as a personal attack.
- Include an impartial representative.
- Remind the manager that a HR representative can come along to the meeting if that would be helpful for the situation. This may be a useful avenue to pursue if there is a history of disagreements between this employee and member of management and there is a possibility the employee will feel there is a bias against them.
- It is important to remember though that involving a member of HR in a one-to-one meeting will almost definitely make the employee feel as if the situation is escalating, so it’s worth not using this tactic immediately.
- Ensure that the employee has the opportunity to engage with the feedback.
- For example, if they are regularly late, is there a personal issue which is affecting their ability to get to work on time? Remind managers to give their members of staff the opportunity to speak.
Giving effective feedback is a skill and one managers should be able to use confidently.
If you are regularly meeting managers who are unsure how to delivery constructive feedback, then consider arranging a management training day in order to get everyone up to speed on their feedback.
Equally, you might find yourself advising an employee who has received negative feedback and is approaching you because they consider it unfair. Part of your job is to acknowledge both employees and management, even if you work more closely with the management team.
There are ways you can encourage the member of staff to think about the feedback which may be enough to change their opinion.
Try not to let your personal feelings color your opinion of the employee, regardless of what their manager might have told you. You can also set up a mediated discussion between the employee and manager and facilitate a constructive conversation.
You might want to make positive changes in the company, and this all begins with effective communication and the organization working as one to achieve the end result. Giving and receiving feedback effectively is a big part of that.
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