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4 Ways to Share Effective Employee Feedback

Be the manager that advocates for their team.

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Most people aren't comfortable sharing feedback with their manager...

...and this great article by Sergey Gorbatov dives into some of the reasons why managers don't want to provide feedback. If managers are not able to provide feedback to their leadership, that means the stressors and feedback of their own team dies at their feet.

Honest feedback is key to a healthy & productive work environment, but it’s hard to offer feedback when you're not sure how to deliver it well.

Here are some things to keep in mind when offering feedback…

1. Timing matters: A lot. Every team member has their whole life going on behind the scenes. Without a tool like CodeGem, you're likely only hearing about personal events or issues if you ask outright or if it escalates into an issue that effects them at work. When your team is feeling stressed due to life's ups and downs, knowing about it can help you avoid having very tough conversations when your team member may be more likely to react emotionally.

We would also stress that environment equally matters. 1:1 meetings are perfect for sharing and discussing feedback, whereas group meetings may be more daunting for a team member to speak out.

2. Be organized: Always wait to offer feedback until you’ve taken the time to write thoughtful, concise notes on the problem at hand. Disorganized, confusing feedback often leads to miscommunication.

3. Let yourself decompress: We’re tempted to offer feedback when we’re stressed or frustrated, but offering feedback from a calm and rational headspace will ensure that you communicate your feedback effectively and constructively.

4. Do your research: It’s easy to speak out before we can think over what we are saying or hearing. Before offering feedback, research the problem you want to discuss and attempt to find some viable solutions. This will lead you to have more productive, action-oriented conversations instead of a defensive or reactionary response.

5. I am not rewarded for it anyway: Ideas, concerns and questions will go unspoken when your team feels as though they have been previously unheard, or unappreciated for speaking up. Even if what they tell you is tough to hear or hard to respond to, be sure to acknowledge their effort (and sometimes, bravery) for speaking out. Most of the time, your team will appreciate that you tried to follow up with their feedback, even if it wasn't the answer they were hoping for.

With these 5 points in mind, we want to challenge you with something: the next time you have to deliver any sort of news, (good or bad) think strategically about how you want to deliver it.

Ask yourself...

Is this the best place to have this discussion?
How will this be received based on their current engagement level? (CodeGem can help with this! 🤓)
Can this wait for a better time? Is there a better time?
Can I include a coaching tip that will assist their growth as a developer?
Am I presenting a solution to this problem, or plainly telling them what they're doing wrong?

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