Recruitment: Four hints to help give constructive feedback to employees

Beef Central, 10/12/2021

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The end of the calendar year is often a time for performance reviews for staff.

Any effective agribusiness leader needs the ability to give constructive feedback and criticism to personnel during this time. While everyone should be able to handle a certain amount of constructive feedback, the way it is delivered can be the difference between offending someone and motivating them to do a better job next time.

While there are a number of tips managers can follow to give effective negative feedback, one of the most important reasons why employees will listen is if they respect the person giving it to them.

Along with this golden rule, there are also other tips that can help employers –regardless of where their business is situated along the beef supply chain – be listened to when giving feedback.

Don’t make it personal

It is imperative that the employee doesn’t feel like they are being personally attacked; this will only make them feel bad about themselves.

Instead, focus on the issue at hand and provide examples of what they could have done differently.

A manager should explain why they were not 100 percent satisfied with the task or job performed, and offer ways that the employee could improve on their performance.

Just because a manager doesn’t like the way in which an employee does a job or task, it does not necessarily mean it is wrong. Instead, reasons need to be provided behind their reaction that can be justified by proper explanations.

Be specific

Vague feedback is essentially useless. Saying something “could have been better” or “could have been done differently” gives the employee no specifics on what they could have changed.

Instead, a manager should be as detailed and as clear as possible with their feedback, offering praise on what they thought the employee did well, and giving suggestions on exactly how they think the employee could have improved on their performance.

While a manager might think it is nit-picking and could make the employee feel worse, it will always be better in the long-run if the person in question knows exactly what needs improving.

Keep it private

To avoid any drama or upsetting the employee – particularly if it’s negative – it’s best to always give proper feedback in private.

No employee wants to receive criticism in front of their peers, as this can be humiliating and damaging to their confidence and self-esteem.

Ideally, a neutral location is best where you can both speak privately and comfortably, without interruption.

Avoid sending an email; face-to-face is always more professional and will give the employer the chance to see how the employee reacts, and whether they are properly taking the feedback on board.

Positive feedback

Feedback shouldn’t always be negative, but rather also used as a process to coach and improve an employee.

Agribusiness managers should approach the feedback process from an angle of coaching and genuinely trying to make an employee better.

If the employee believes it is coming from a sincere place, they are more likely to understand and accept the ideas being given to them, and respond accordingly.


Source: Meat Processors Pty Ltd




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  1. Ron Shaw, 03/08/2018

    Well compiled article. Good communications always makes for less hostile and more productive workplace.

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