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Providing Feedback that Makes Sense!

Abigail, a manager of a customer service support team, often provides feedback to her employees that they find to be of no value. She has told employees that “You need to do a better job on the phone with customers,” or noted good work with comments such as, “Good job!”

What’s wrong with this situation?

Abigail needs to be more specific about feedback; providing feedback that is actionable.

For example, rather than telling an employee, “You need to do a better job on the phone with customers;” Abigail might say, “When on the phone with customers, be sure to ask key questions to truly understand the situation so you are solving the right problem for the customer.”  This is far more specific. The employee can better understand what the problem is and where they need to focus efforts to improve.

Similarly, rather than saying, “Good job,” Abigail might say, “John, the presentation you did this morning was well done. You touched on the key pints, engaged the audience and answered their questions clearly and completely. It was obvious you understood the situation from their perspective. Your efforts on this presentation enabled for getting approval to move forward. Well done!”

Feedback on performance – whether when improvement is necessary or a job is well done – must be specific so the employee understand either where improvement is needed or specifically what they did well.

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