The best managers are the ones who strive to help their employees reach their full potentials. Providing regular feedback can help guide employees to improve areas that need work and encourage their positive behavior. Unfortunately, even with the best of intentions, feedback can fall short if it’s not approached strategically. Provide the most effective feedback to your employees with these tips:

  • Address it in Real Time

In order for feedback to help your employees, it has to be timely. If you wait to address it, they may not be able to use it as reference to shape their future behavior. When you notice something you would like to give feedback about, address it as soon as possible so your memories will be fresh.

  • Offer Specific Details

Vague feedback is frustrating for employees to hear, because all it does is put them on the defensive without a clear idea of what behavior needs addressed. To make your feedback effective, offer specific details. Clearly describe the behavior and use real examples to show what you mean. For example, instead of telling an employee they come across rude sometimes, you could say, “At this morning’s meeting, when you told John his idea wouldn’t work, it came across as dismissive.”

  • Keep it Objective

If your feedback seems subjective, it is unlikely to be taken seriously by your employees because they could dismiss it as your personal preference. Prevent this by keeping your feedback objective and focusing on actual facts. Don’t say, “I think you should dress more professionally” but rather: “Having a polished appearance is important to projecting a professional image and ensuring your talents are taken seriously.”

  • Give Concrete Solutions

No matter how thorough your feedback is when describing what employees are doing right or wrong, it won’t be effective unless they leave knowing exactly what next steps they need to take. Give your employees concrete solutions or suggestions to utilize going forward. For example, “The way you handled that customer’s issue was great. Going forward, I would like you to continue being proactive and trying to solve problems without escalating it to management.”

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