Give feedback and coach
One of the most important things you can do to motivate your people is to give them feedback and coach them. This is where so many employers and managers fall down in dealing with their people; we are hopeless at giving feedback.
Most people want to know how they are performing in their job; they want to know if they are doing it right or how they could do it better. If you really want to motivate your people then you need to give feedback both affirming and constructive.
Affirming feedback is about giving the good news, giving people affirmations, regularly, that you are happy with what they are doing.
Constructive feedback is about letting the person know the behaviour you are not happy about, the improvements you want and when.
This is not a soft option, it’s about telling your staff when they are doing a good job and when they aren’t. Why? - Because it gets the job done, it’s good for the business and it’s easier for you. So how do you do it?
You do it when you observe behaviour that you are happy about or unhappy about. And here are some points to remember when giving feedback:
- Do it right away. Good or bad behaviour needs to be commented on as you observe it.
- Do it in private. Being reprimanded in front of colleagues is bad for everyone’s morale and it’s bad for business. Giving affirming feedback in public can also embarrass the employee.
- Tell the person how you feel using ‘I’ messages. Take responsibility for your own feelings. Don’t say, ‘You’re doing really well’ or ‘You’ve got this all wrong.’ Far better to say, ‘I liked the way you handled that customer’ or ‘I would like you to handle that situation in a different way.’
- Give the person time to absorb what you say and to respond. Get agreement on the change of behaviour you require and a timescale for improvement.
- Thank the person and let them know that you value him or her. This can be difficult however less so if you give feedback on the behaviour rather than on the person. This is about business and is not a personal attack