Effective feedback skills for staff performance conversations.

Performance conversations or monthly catch up/one on ones are vital for a business’ success. Happy employees equal productive and effective teams. An engaged team leads to great success. A coaching session should be held a minimum of once a month and should be well prepared for. The employee and the manager/coach should each bring something to the meeting. Preparation is important for the success of the conversation. You should have at least some type of format for the meeting. Mine change depending on the staff member but follow a similar format each time

. * Take the staff member off site if it is possible – coffee shop, cafe, park.

* I ask the staff member what they would like to speak about this session and if there are any burning issues.

I write these down and then advise how the meeting will unfold. This creates ease, removes any tension and limits surprises.

Example Agenda: What’s happening now Areas requiring my help Sales and performance Feedback Housekeeping Open discussion Closing and commitments

* Get to know your staff member by asking questions about them. How do they like to receive feedback? How do they like to receive praise? What motivates the staff member in their role?

* Be honest and open. You should only be taking 10% of the time while the other 90% is the employee talking. An effective way to do this is to buy a coffee and make sure your coffee is finished first.

* Ask permission when giving feedback.

Can I offer a suggestion?

May I provide you some feedback? By asking permission you remove the wall that we naturally put up out of defence. It allows us to receive the feedback openly.

* Feedback should never be blaming. Feedback should never start with “You” eg. “You did this wrong.” Effective feedback should sound like: “Vanessa, lately I feel that you have not been as engaged as you have been previously in this role.” There is no blame and it allows for the person to feel less threatened. The manager then keeps the employee engaged in the conversation instead of becoming defensive.

* The conversation should be kept in trust, as it is essential the manager keeps the employee’s trust. Document your conversation and use it when you have your next coaching session to reflect on the last session’s commitments.

Set goals with your employee, their success is your success, so help them achieve. Remember the coaching session is about the employee and not you. Happy coaching!


Please share what your best practices are as a leader below, I would love to hear from you.