Imagine: You’re looking through applications for new candidates. On paper, you find a candidate who looks outstanding. Their skills are top-notch, their experience is right on target, and they express all the enthusiasm and dedication you’re looking for. The interview is promising, and they accept the offer with excitement.
Once they start the job, however, this “star” candidate fades quickly. What happened? Why did your best candidate, the one on whom you’d pinned your hopes, become such a sudden disappointment?
Here’s the number-one reason your “best candidates” falter: You’re not giving direct, constructive feedback.
Why Feedback Matters
Giving direct, constructive feedback matters. Here’s why:
- It tells people what to do. New hires often don’t know which of their daily tasks are directly relevant to which parts of the business. Clear, specific feedback tells them where to place their focus for results.
- It tells people why to do it. When feedback is constructive, it makes a clear link between how to do something and how to do it correctly.
- It saves you the trouble of micromanaging. When feedback is clear, direct and constructive, it allows the employee to adjust their own efforts without need for further intervention—or with only a few clarifying questions. Leaders who give clear feedback can spend more time focusing on their own essential tasks and less time watching their employees work.
How to Provide Constructive Feedback
When providing feedback to your staff, keep these tips in mind:
- Take a positive approach. On any first attempt at feedback, assume good faith from your employees. You may even want to mention you’re making this assumption: “I can tell you put a lot of effort into this. Here’s one thing I’d like to mention….”
- State exactly what you want to see changed and why. Be precise. “It looks wrong” or “It needs to be bigger/brighter/smaller/happier” are not precise. “Let’s see if we can fit the entire column onto one page to make it easier to follow” is specific and tells the employee why you want the change made.
- Provide feedback every time. Even if you have no changes or criticisms to make, say something. “Looks great, thanks!” is a quick email to send and tells your employees they’re on the right track.
Without the right management tactics, your star employee may struggle to thrive. Employ the suggestions above to set yourself (and the new employee) up for success. If that employee thrives, not only will your company benefit, but they may be able to refer a peer who would be a terrific addition to the team. At TERRA Staffing, our recruiters strive to help our clients reach their goals through responsive, effective hiring in both the short and long term. Contact us today to learn more about our recruiting solutions in Seattle, Portland and Phoenix.