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Feedback must be task-oriented, clear and straight to the point

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August 12, 2017 in Activism

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Some years ago, the trend living inside the HR sectors of companies started to be the one where dates would be scheduled and the perfect formula would be found to provide workers with feedback, in a programmed way. There was a discussion on how much time was necessary to provide feedback, as well as on the best way to start and conclude the conversation, and the topics that couldn’t be excluded from it. The HR teams were commissioned with the task of making appointments and pass on the errors or the things that went right.

Everything was quite fancy, very organized, very theatrical. We know how important it is to be aware of our performance in the work we conduct, or when someone points out to the errors we are doing, but a bi-monthly and extremely well-planned session is useless when it comes to reaching any positive consequence.

Feedbacks needs to be unsettling, capable of generating actions, it has to be specific and immediate in order to generate good results. And not a single magic formula, like the popular sandwich, will be as efficient as the one that proves to be a better fit for each worker of your company.

Feedback needs to be immediate

Do you recall the file that you erroneously wrote, the one that caused a whirlwind of confusion during the meeting with the client three weeks ago? So, it’s already in the books. The error is locked in the past, it didn’t stem any negative consequence for you directly and probably it has been already repeated countless times in the meantime.

One of the most efficient ways to make an employee aware of an error or to enhance his work is to quickly address what happened. If something is not going right today, then the effort tomorrow will have to be focused on that matter already. And negative feedback is not the only way of doing it immediately. Acknowledgment also generates more productivity and better results.

Feedback needs to be specific
Generic pontifications such as “Your work needs to be improved or “I was not at all impressed with the result” will leave your employees confused and in the dark about what they have to do to fix that situation. Feedback needs to be task-oriented, clear and straight to the point. Be specific, define an action to fix the error and assess the work after the former is conducted.

Feedback needs to be person-centered
I’m not saying that the conversion needs to take a personal route, quite the opposite in fact. Being accountable to provide feedback is about being acquainted with the team one is working with and be aware of the best way to pass on information to each worker. Of course, everyone in the team needs to know how to receive criticism in a positive way, but when this relationship is more intimate and the history of each individual is taken into account, everything becomes simpler and more effective.

HR is not the only accountable for feedback
Here’s the most important part of the story: HR is not the only part accountable for having a conversation with employees on their performance in the company, as well as for fostering, inside each department, the notion that feedback is necessary. Each manager is responsible for his own department. Feedback that happens to be transmitted by the project manager to a member of the team right after the task’s conclusion is much more efficient and productive than something that goes through two or three individuals before it reaches its destination.

The main purpose of feedback is to help each individual understand their positioning with regard to a certain behavior. That is why it’s so important to ensure that the conversion is constructive, robust and sincere. It’s not necessary to pretend the whole thing is a soap opera just to pass on criticism, with a beginning -> middle -> end, according to the dos and don’ts of how to provide feedback – whether it is positive or negative. Less theatricality, more responsibility and assertiveness when the facts take place are elements that generate more results.

Adriano Meirinho the CMO and co-founder of Celcoin, a financial services application for those who do not have a bank account. A Marketing Executive with a MBA Degree in Retail Management from FIA-USP and a certification as a Practitioner in Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP), Meirinho has more than 18 years of experience in marketing and advertising, having been part of important companies, such as Oppa and Catho On-line, where he received six Top Of Mind awards from 2006 to 2012 and three Ibest awards, in 2002 and 2004.

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