It helps people improve themselves and the quality of their work
It points out problem areas or issues
It engenders loyalty among employees
Anybody who’s a part of the HR industry recommends giving frequent and continuous feedback because it makes so many other HR-related processes easier. For example, performance management, goal setting, and learning development can be enhanced simply sharing feedback more often.
But this begs the question: how often should you share feedback? Obviously, when you give feedback, you want it to actually work. You want the receiver to take that feedback into account. You want the feedback to be meaningful and useful, something that can help along a process, instead of stalling it. However, there are a few factors that can prevent your feedback from being good, and move your feedback from the ‘valid and good’ category to the ‘useless and impractical’ category.
And on further reflection, we have realized, there is an optimal cadence of continuous feedback.
I Give Feedback Every Day
Whoa. This is not a good approach. Unless the work hinges on being reviewed every day, giving feedback every day is only going to confuse a person and slow down the pace of work tremendously. Not to mention, this comes across like micromanaging. And nobody likes being micromanaged. It’s a very exhausting process all around. The giving feedback approach works in a few other instances well, such as employee training, project alignment, etc. But, as a day to day process, it is not motivating as much as it is demoralizing.
Definitely not a good approach at all. At least the first one shows that you care ( it is still damaging however so perhaps it’s well-intentioned but aggravating). This approach, however, displays a marked lack of interest in the employee’s work and does not send across a good message. If you are not sharing enough feedback, you risk letting the employee think everything is alright until you suddenly pull the rug out from under them one day. Some mistakes can be turned around easily. However, this is not possible in all instances. In addition to being a disservice to the employee, it also wastes energy and resources. Think of the old proverb:
For want of a nail, the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe, the horse was lost.
For want of a horse, the rider was lost.
For want of a rider, the message was lost.
For want of a message, the battle was lost.
For want of a battle, the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.
When a simple fix can be made through sharing feedback often, it is a manager’s duty to do so. And it’s better to fix a mistake when it’s small rather than when it has grown beyond someone’s control.
And one more, not sharing feedback often most certainly does not make you a cool boss or cool manager. Rather, it makes you an irresponsible one.
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I Give Feedback As And When Necessary
This is what we at Engagedly deem the best approach.
Giving feedback as and when is necessary means that more often than not, the feedback you give is valuable and timely. And as a result, it is more effective! So you could decide, you want to give feedback once a month or every few weeks. Or you could decide you can give feedback every time a task is done. Essentially, it is setting a rhythm about what works for you and your employees. That is the ideal approach. Because it takes into account the nature of work, the amount of guidance requires, as well as the importance of the work. For some projects, you might want to completely oversee all decisions. And that is alright. For some other projects, you might want to leave it up to the employee’s discretion. That is fine as well. Because it embodies one of the basic tenets of management: managing a person as and when necessary.
What is your ideal continuous feedback cadence? Is it different from the ones we have listed above? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!