Our last post discussed the best ways for employers to incorporate feedback, working to include an analysis/reflection step in their project cycles so employees can stay informed of their performance level and thrive in a communicative environment. Preparing comments upon project completion is a great opportunity for identifying problem areas and spotlighting employees' needs for improvement.

What if your workplace doesn’t value open communication and healthy, constructive feedback? Asking for it can feel needy or unnecessary. The truth is, however, that feedback is critical to your vocational growth and an important component of your professional relationship to management. Most importantly, you present yourself as a committed and passionate member of the team.

We've gathered some tips for getting the comments you need and implementing changes efficiently.

Ask. Ask again.
Request a meeting to evaluate your work upon project completion. Next time, request again. Keep asking until it becomes the norm. Your boss should consider these discussions to be an investment in the success of the company, and even if they don’t have time for a meeting, suggest a quick one or two sentences on an area that could be bettered.

Don’t get defensive
Teams are supposed to be collaborative and supportive of all members, so comments that come your way should be taken seriously and not personally. Pointing fingers at others while deflecting useful feedback yourself just perpetuates inefficiency. Take each piece of advice and assume it’s coming from a genuine place.

Make a point to be better
Feedback and suggestions are useless if they aren’t implemented, so with each new project, set a small goal based on past calls for improvement. Targeting your focus will better indicate the success of your efforts, streamline the process, and organize your goal into actionable steps.

Be ready with questions
If you get the sense that management can't devote the time for proper evaluation, keep it simple. Ask a very specific question to direct their comments - something like "How did my timing feel on this project?" or "Would it help if I _____ next time?" This way, you're not demanding much of their time but still demonstrating your dedication and making moves to better yourself.
Try these suggestions to begin making progress towards improvement your performance at work. Your employer will thank you in the long run. 

Posted: 6/10/2021 4:33:01 PM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments

Evaluating your performance after completing a project is crucial to improving your professional skills. But, it's not always easy to take a step back and look at the successes and the failures objectively. How can you know what needs improvement without a proper system of assessment? And employers, how can you groom a lean, mean, productive machine without your team knowing what's working and what isn't?

Our best suggestion? Build a project cycle that includes feedback and analytics. You have brainstorm/kickoff meetings, right? Consider adding in conversations to wrap up the project, including employee reviews as well as project analytics. Having a system that includes feedback makes open and honest communication much easier, and gives both parties an opportunity to comment on the process and final product.

Use specifics
No vague mentions of "doing better" are going to prompt any changes. Just like your meetings should end with actionable items for each person, these conversations demand takeaway points for improvement, if there are any. If you can provide numbers of any kind, even better. This makes the feedback less subjective, and gives evidence that improvement can be measured.

Don't compare
In a performance evaluation, avoid pitting employees against each other. A team should be supportive of each other, and, as they say "comparison is the thief of joy." Keep your team happy and collaborative by steering the feedback towards their individual work, mentioning specific points relevant to their performance, rather than pointing out a fellow team member's successes or failures.

Welcome critique
Being open to employee comments will make your team immensely more available to receive your feedback. Communication is a two way street, and there's no reason to target employees as the sole owners of the success of a process. Besides soliciting comments, regularly request specific points for improvement from everyone on your team after every project, whether it applies to you as an individual or the company as a whole.

Remove their personality from the equation
Try to address the behavior that needs changing rather than judging a personality. It's challenging, for example, to avoid mentioning someone's ego when discussing their tendency to interrupt, but “Your frequent interruptions stifle candid conversation,” is a more constructive comment than “Check your ego at the door.”

Your team will greatly benefit from an established system of evaluation as well as an environment that is collaborative in its efforts to improve. Be open to suggestions, and be sure to effectively provide the feedback your team is looking for. Let us know how it goes!

Posted: 6/3/2021 4:25:04 PM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments