Supervisory Leadership

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How do I provide meaningful feedback to staff members?

Frequent and useable feedback is key to creating a performance culture. The process is really pretty straightforward.

Most of the feedback you give an employee will be short, single-purpose and informal. It should happen in the day-to-day course of business.

Sometimes, when you have performance or growth issues, you will want to document your supervisory interviews. In that case, your sessions will be longer and more likely to cover more than a single task or subject.

Before conducting a supervisory interview, you need to analyze the situation to determine what kind of situation you have. Many "performance" problems are caused by inadequate resources or training. Without providing those, you can't hold folks accountable for performance.

In your sessions, you should describe behavior or performance without the adjectives. Make it descriptive and non-judgmental. When you want an employee to do something differently, you need to outline the consequences of doing what you want, both positive and negative.

You should also use the skills of Active Listening to make sure you're being understood. That requires listening, something bosses don't seem to do as well as they think.

Finally, after your session, watch for performance. If there's improvement, praise it, even if more improvement is needed. If things are wrong correct them.

In a way, this is almost common sense. It's pretty simple. But it's not easy because it requires time and attention and effort.


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