4 Ways Feedback Improves Performance in The Workplace

Updated June 24, 2022

Team feedback is crucial in business to identify company goals and manage progress. To be effective, feedback should be intentional, constructive and engaging. By understanding the importance of team feedback and learning the most effective techniques, you can improve the feedback process within your team. In this article, we discuss the importance of giving feedback and tips to improve your feedback process.

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What is feedback?

Feedback is the process of evaluating, discussing and organizing an employee’s performance. It is an action used to offer constructive information to a team member. The process of giving feedback creates an open working relationship among the team leader and member, allowing each to understand their progress toward a pre-set goal.

Feedback is a means of improvement. It helps individuals shape their actions to better meet the needs of an employer or team leader. Feedback is just one of the required tasks of a supervisor or manager and is meant to encourage their team to meet goals and follow company guidelines.

Here are some common elements of effective feedback:

  • Timeliness: The most effective feedback is timely. Offer feedback when the team member can take action to improve, either immediately or shortly after the event in question.

  • Communicative: Communicative feedback creates a collaborative environment. In comparison to written feedback, communicative feedback allows team members to ask questions or gain more clarity.

  • Constructive: Effective feedback is constructive, offering positive solutions. Only offer feedback on actions or tasks that can be improved.

  • Specific: Specificity in feedback is important so that team members understand their areas of strength and weakness. This allows them to improve specific skills.

  • Detailed: Providing details with feedback can help team members develop a clearer understanding of the areas in which they can improve. Offer specific details about events and tasks.

Related: SMART Goals: Definition and Examples

How feedback improves performance

Feedback is a crucial part of improving a team’s performance. Feedback can achieve the following purposes in a team setting:

Provides direction

Feedback provides direction by identifying performance indicators and allowing team members to understand their progress toward a goal. 

Motivates members

A motivated team is often a productive one. Feedback can encourage team members to complete goals and objectives. Feedback can also help you better understand the strengths and weaknesses of your team, allowing you to build on them and further motivate team members.

Improves individual performance

Team feedback can also improve the performance of each team member. When each team member understands their role on the team and the tasks they are expected to complete, the team can complete more goals.

Encourages engagement

Effective feedback is two-sided. When team members have the chance to provide feedback, they are more likely to be engaged. Engaged team members will often have better performance.

Types of team feedback

The type of feedback that you choose when working with your team will vary depending on the goal of the feedback. Here are a few of the most popular types of feedback in a business setting:

  1. 360-degree feedback

  2. Constructive criticism

  3. Coaching

  4. Evaluation

1. 360-degree feedback

360-degree feedback allows all team members and leaders to be involved in the feedback process. This form of feedback is confidential and comes from the entire work team, not just management or team leaders. Feedback might include coworkers, direct reports and managers. A rating scale method is used and covers pre-designed questions. Individuals are then allowed to leave written comments. The person being rated will also fill out the same form, rating themselves.

360-degree feedback offers the following advantages:

  • Offers insight into specific skills that team members can work to improve

  • Gives team members a better understanding of feedback from the entire team

  • Allows team members to build on current strengths

  • Encourages team members to better understand their role and team expectations

 Related: The Importance of Positive Feedback and How to Deliver It to Others

2. Constructive criticism

Constructive criticism is a type of feedback that includes both positive and negative statements. Team members who receive constant negative feedback may eventually feel like they are not capable. By offering feedback that highlights both the positive and the negative, you can motivate and encourage at the same time.

Constructive feedback offers the following advantages:

  • Gives team members a new perspective on both achievements and areas of improvement

  • Creates a trusting relationship between you and the team member

  • Gives team members specific and measurable areas in which they can improve

  • Identifies actual solutions to problems

 Related: Best Practices for Giving Constructive Feedback

3. Coaching

Another common feedback method is the coaching feedback model. In this model, you first encourage your team members to offer themselves feedback. From there, you and the team member consider the self-rated feedback as you offer your input, acting in the role of a coach. 

Coaching feedback offers the following advantages:

  • Encourages team members to develop feedback skills

  • Helps you understand each team member’s concerns

  • Creates a collaborative relationship

4. Evaluation

An evaluation type of feedback requests both you and your team members use a scoring tool to rate performance. The scores are then compared and discussed together. This feedback method is useful in a work setting in which performance can be numerically evaluated.

Evaluation feedback offers the following advantages:

  • Creates an environment in which you can openly discuss performance

  • Encourages team members to consider performance based on a measurable number

  • Gives a measurable method of improvement

Related: Ways to Conduct Employee Performance Appraisals

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How to provide effective feedback

Feedback is an important leadership quality, regardless of your leadership style. Try these steps to strengthen your existing feedback skills and develop your leadership skills:

  1. Understand your goal for giving feedback.

  2. Put the feedback in writing first.

  3. Create a schedule.

  4. Accept feedback.

1. Understand your goal for giving feedback

Consider your purpose for providing feedback. It might be to improve the strengths and correct the weaknesses of your team members or to encourage your team to move quickly toward a common goal. Understanding your goals for giving feedback can assist you when determining the best approach to take.

Related: Setting Goals to Improve Your Career

2. Put the feedback in writing first

By putting your intended feedback in writing first, it can help you ensure that you are being specific, honest and timely. Feedback should be intentional, and writing it down first encourages you to understand your intention. It also allows you to evaluate your feedback for clarity, ensure that it is constructive and have a clear plan for your conversation.

3. Create a schedule

Regular feedback is important. Busy days or frequent work tasks can make it challenging to maintain routine feedback. Creating a schedule of weekly or monthly reviews can help you to keep up with this important task while ensuring your team members know when to expect feedback. A schedule also allows you to be timely by giving feedback as soon as possible after an important event.

4. Accept feedback

Learning to welcome feedback can help you improve your skills not only for giving effective feedback but also as a team leader. You can create a more trusting relationship with your team members when you are open to their feedback. Try implementing another schedule or plan for accepting feedback from your team members, such as the 360-degree method.

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