Have You Spoken to Them About It Yet? – Why Timely Feedback Is Key to Effective Employee Performance Management

Over the course of owning and operating a business, one thing all owners and managers have in common is the need to conduct employee performance management and development activities. Whether it is empowering employees to upskill or coaching them to overcome a habit or problem, it is commonplace.

It is also quite common for management to feel uneasy or uncomfortable when handling difficult conversations with their employees. However, there is inherent risk with avoiding or not completing these conversations soon enough.

Without being aware that there may be an issue or mistake, an employee will continue to work in the same manner. Depending on the mistake this can result in poor morale amongst the team, low productivity, and higher operational costs. Furthermore, if high performing employees identify that no action is being taken to correct performance issues, you risk your ability to retain talent in your company.

It is also important to keep in mind that feedback isn’t just to address poor performance or conduct, but to recognise good performance and habits. Recognising the positive contributions of employees will assist in developing a positive workplace culture and improving staff morale.

What Are the Benefits of Timely Feedback

Enhanced Learning

With immediate and timely feedback, relevance is retained. Employee will understand exactly how they completed a task as it is fresh in their mind. An employee can immediately action a resolution.  Additionally, constructive feedback provided promptly it prevents these habits to become ingrained or lead to further mistakes.

If it is positive feedback, the employee’s understanding, specific actions, and behaviours can be reinforced.

Improved Motivation & Higher Engagement

Timely positive feedback can boost confidence and motivate individuals to perform to a high standard and continue to seek results. Where employees are motivated to achieve, they are more likely to maintain their engagement and commitment to the business objectives.

Accountability for Responsibilities and Outcomes

When feedback is provided in real time, there are immediate consequences and recognition for their actions. This promotes a greater sense of accountability and encourages responsible behaviours within the team.

Fosters Effective Communication

Quick feedback can prevent misunderstandings from occurring and continuing before the issue reaches crisis point. Furthermore, when done effectively, frequent and timely feedback promotes a workplace culture of open communication and continuous improvement.

High Performance & Reduced Operational Cost

Timely feedback results in timely adjustments, reducing and preventing rework being required. A strong feedback loop is essential in proper employee performance management, as timely and consistent feedback fosters high performance and productivity. From an operational perspective, this also results in time saved, more efficient use of resources, and reduced resource wastage.

Trust Between Management & Employees

When management is seen to proactively support and provide feedback, this highlights that the Company has genuine care for their employee’s performance and personal development. Employees are more likely to trust and become invested if they believe this is mutually matched.

Timely and regular feedback establishes consistency of communication, which can establish enhance trust and reliability in the employee-employer relationship.

How Do I Know Feedback Needs Improvement

Poor feedback can hinder employee performance management within a team and/or Company. Poor feedback can manifest in various ways to negatively impact performance, morale, and team dynamics. Some symptoms include:

  • Consistent mistakes
  • Stagnant performance
  • Decreased motivation
  • Disengagement
  • Frequent Absenteeism
  • Lack of Accountability
  • Lowered communication
  • Misaligned objectives
  • Responsibilities are unclear

I Want to Improve My Feedback Where Do I Start?

As every team is different, management’s feedback should be implemented in a manner and style that best resonates with your team. A good balance between positive and constructive feedback is key to effective employee performance management.

Our HR Consultants often recommend three strategies to commence the assessment of what is the best feedback methodology for your team.

Adopting the S.M.A.R.T Framework

  • Specific – Ensuring your feedback is clear on what needs to improve.
  • Measurable – Identifying and monitoring metrics to track progression and achievement.
  • Achievable – set realistic targets and offer actionable steps to achieve the targets.
  • Relevant – tailor your feedback to the individual’s role and its expectations.
  • Timely – Delivering prompt feedback for maximum impact.

Foster Feedback at All Levels

  • Establish an annual schedule of check ins and reviews with staff to discuss concerns, reward performance and encourage progress.
  • Provide avenues for employees to provide feedback formally and informally.
  • Engage in active listening when employees approach you to discuss concerns or ideas.

Use the Situation Behaviour Impact (SBI) Model

The SBI model is a management tool to effectively communicate constructively to ensure employees understand the importance of their actions and their individual impact.

When relaying a situation back to provide constructive feedback, we follow the following process;

  1. Describe the context in which the action or behaviour has occurred (Situation).
  2. Focus on the specific actions and/ or behaviours without making these personal
  3. Explain the effect the behaviours or actions have had on the team, project or organisation to establish importance and to understand their consequences.

Through effective implementation of these strategies, feedback is more meaningful and more effective in fostering a culture of continuous improvement and open communication.

Ready to Enhance Communication & Enhance Your Leadership Skills?

Our experienced HR support professionals are here to provide you with the tools, insights, and strategies to transform your approach and achieve outstanding team results. Discover how our dedicated HR consulting can help you foster a culture of continuous improvement and high performance by calling us for a free consultation on 07 3630 5695.