Joey Klein, CEO of Inner Matrix Systems Outlines the Importance of Feedback in a Company
Feedback is a crucial part of effective intra-company communication. In this article, Joey Klein, CEO of Inner Matrix Systems, explains how providing constructive feedback to your employees will drive your team toward excellence.
No one likes to be criticized. This is never truer than with your employees. There is a fine line between constructive feedback and criticism; it’s all in the delivery. Employees will feel resentment if criticized, and yet almost everyone welcomes constructive feedback and will often happily make needed improvements as a result.
The most effective employee feedback you can offer is the reinforcement of positive behavior. Most employees are highly influenced by praise and acknowledgment of their accomplishments. As an example, consider the following short exchange between a supervisor and a subordinate. “Sally, I sincerely appreciate it when you get your month-end report to me on time.”
In this example, Sally is receiving positive feedback for appropriate action. She will clearly understand that getting the month-end report to her supervisor is essential and will likely do all she can to ensure this happens. If, on the other hand, the supervisor had waited until Sally failed to make the deadline and then corrected her, the result would have been less positive.
A wise manager will look for opportunities to reinforce desired behavior before the need for correction arises. This, unfortunately, is not always possible. Sometimes, feedback for undesirable performance must be provided. Even feedback about negative behavior can be constructive if delivered correctly.
Below are four helpful suggestions for improving the results when providing employee feedback.
- Avoid providing feedback when you are emotionally off-balance. If you are angry, stressed, or frustrated, you will not likely deliver the feedback in a manner that will promote positive communication. Unless further damage will occur if you delay providing feedback, wait until you can talk with a calm and positive demeanor.
- Just as it is essential to wait until you are calm before delivering feedback, try to understand the person’s emotional state for whom the feedback is intended. Employees who are upset because they fear they have disappointed their supervisor may misinterpret what they are told. If highly stressed, they may try and read between the lines and extract a message you didn’t intend to deliver.
- Before providing feedback, take a few moments to ensure you understand the employee’s position, role, and level of training. Feedback is intended to be a reinforcement of prior learning, not an introduction of new information.
- Make giving employee feedback a two-way communication. Allow the employee to respond and ask questions. Ask them questions to confirm their understanding of what you have told them. Don’t assume they have received the same message you intended to deliver. Have a dialog and keep it going until you are sure they understand what is expected of them.
In summary, construct your employee feedback to be a reinforcement of desirable behavior whenever possible. Only provide feedback when both you and the employee are calm and ready to communicate effectively. Ensure your feedback relates to something the employee has already been taught and pertains to their clearly defined position and role within the company.
About Inner Matrix Systems
Inner Matrix Systems, based in Denver, is a personal mastery training system for high achievers. For more than twenty years, IMS has delivered a proprietary methodology that rewires, trains, and aligns the nervous system, emotions, and thought strategies to create real-life results. CEO, Joey Klein, and IMS have worked with more than 80,000 individuals from around the world through both live and online training programs, as well as one-on-one coaching. Clients have included: Boeing, IBM, Dell, Google, Panda Express, Coca Cola and The World Health Organization. Joey is the author of The Inner Matrix: Leveraging the Art & Science of Personal Mastery to Create Real Life Results (June 2021).