Wednesday, October 24, 2018

The One Thing That Can Improve Feedback

It's pretty much a given that everyone hates performance reviews, which is why more companies are urging managers to give "continuous feedback."

What this looks like can vary:

"Great job, Susan, on that presentation."

"John, I think you need a little more research on that report."

"Jeff, I'm not sure that tie really goes with that jacket."

While this is all feedback, none of it is really helpful. It's not specific and doesn't really point the employee to what needs to happen next (other than Jeff needs to change his tie or his jacket). Research finds that about 87% of workers say they want to be developed in their jobs -- but only a third say they actually get the feedback they need to engage and improve.

So what will work to boost improvement and make employees better at making decisions? What's needed to help them become more resilient so they can adapt to change? Research suggests workers need to ask for feedback instead of just waiting for bosses to offer it.

Okay, I know what you're thinking: There is no way I'm asking for feedback from my boss because I'm worried about what he will say -- and it will probably end up creating more work  and stress for me.

But experts say that when you ask for feedback, you are in the driver's seat, which can be empowering. The boss feels more comfortable because you ask for something specific: "Do you think I used too much data in that presentation?"

While it doesn't mean the interaction will be a barrel of laughs, it can make it less threatening and feel more fair to you and to the boss.

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