Boost Productivity with the Right Feedback

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The way you talk to your employees plays a big role in your company’s success.

Researchers Joshua Freedman and Carina Fiedeldey-Van Dijk found that providing useful feedback can boost productivity by as much as 16 percent. And yet Freedman and Fiedeldey-Van Dijk found that two-thirds of workers say they have received no useful feedback.

So what are the characteristics of effective feedback? For starters, it should be frequent, say once a week. And make it short, focused and immediate, so no one’s left wondering how you feel about something that happened.

If you must deliver criticism, sandwich it between two compliments so your employees realize that you recognize their value. Keep feedback focused on actions, not emotions. Specific directions or suggestions to help employees improve or figure out what to do next are most helpful.

And remember one maxim: Praise in public, but critique in private. Everyone wants to be praised in front of their peers, while constructive criticism should be delivered privately.

Adapted from How Effective Feedback Can Boost Productivity by Joe Taylor Jr. at Small Business Computing.