Feedback is a very essential aspect of every organization. Most organizations these days are designed in such a way that all these different departments are interconnected and contribute to accomplishing company goals and help increase organizational productivity.
In this very organized workplace culture, it is important to stay up to date with current industry trends and to constantly improve one’s self. One way to do this is also by giving and receiving frequent feedback not only from the managers but also from your colleagues.
You can be really open-minded about receiving negative feedback from your colleagues, but what if they aren’t? Sometimes, giving constructive feedback to colleagues is challenging because it tends to discourage them. Giving feedback to your peers gives you an opportunity to contribute to regular performance reviews without involving salary appraisals or other negotiations. More importantly, peer feedback helps build a positive culture in your team as well as the whole organization.
Tips On How to Give Good Feedback In The Workplace
Use the following tips to deliver clear, effective, and actionable feedback.
1. Be Prepared
It is important to be prepared in advance to give feedback to your colleagues. Feedback meeting with peers is a difficult conversation to have; why not prepare ahead for it?
Preparing in advance for the feedback meeting allows you to put across your point with ease and more confidence. This allows you to help your colleagues improve themselves and achieve the team goals. Always remember to keep the objective of the meeting clear.
2. Be Specific – No Sandwiching
There are many articles that talk about the importance of giving both negative and positive feedback together so that the employees aren’t demotivated. But when you are giving feedback to your peers, it is important to be specific about what exactly you want to convey. You don’t need to add positive performance aspects just for the sake of having them.
Being specific allows your colleagues to focus on the right thing and improve themselves.
One of the most common mistakes when giving feedback to peers is that they aren’t encouraged to participate. Phrase your comments properly and encourage your colleagues to participate. For example, if you want to talk about their negative performance and suggest them solutions, ask them how they are planning on improving their skill set and how it contributes to organizational success.
4. Offer Help
When you have chosen to give feedback to your peers, first put yourself in their shoes and understand where they need to improve themselves. Give them suggestions on how they can improve themselves. This helps them understand what you’re expecting of them and how they can meet those expectations. Make a proper action plan for your peers.
Summarize the main points discussed in the meeting and emphasize on the action plan that you have created for your colleague. This practice helps you avoid misunderstandings and be clear about what you discussed. In short, state your expectations, the results of their performance, the problems with their performance, the practices they should stick to and your solutions to help them improve.
This is optional when you are just a peer. But following up on feedback is a good practice. Feedback is purposeless unless it has an effect on the employee performance. So, follow up and see if they need your help; this makes your peers stay motivated and productive.
Important: How you give peer feedback mainly depends on the nature of your relationships at work and job designations. For example, you cannot make an action plan for the CEO of your company and then follow-up on it; while you can do it easily for a colleague who’s on the same level as you. This is something you must absolutely keep in mind when giving feedback to peers, or even if you are considering giving feedback to your peers.
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Kylee Stone supports the professional services team as a CX intern and psychology SME. She leverages her innate creativity with extensive background in psychology to support client experience and organizational functions. Kylee is completing her master’s degree in Industrial-Organizational psychology at the University of Missouri Science and Technology emphasizing in Applied workplace psychology and Statistical Methods.