My first corporate job was working as an administrator for my dad’s financial advising business. The experience was a great one, and really, why wouldn’t it have been? My dad knew my purpose for taking the job (to learn more about financial advising as a career path), what lit a fire under me (a challenge), and how to give me direction and feedback (cut straight to the point).
It was only after I moved onto my next job did I realize how lucky I was to have had that solid of a foundation with a boss: most of that knowledge takes years to learn, and it is very rarely talked about explicitly.
While not everyone can know their employees as well as a father knows his daughter, knowing your employees’ work styles and personalities is key to fostering a successful and positive process for effective 360 degree feedback. Below, we’ve provided a list of questions and possible answers to help you better understand your employees’ feedback needs.
Many new-to-the-workforce employees prefer coaching around specific tasks. They need to know how to best complete a certain process before strategic thinking can begin.
Employees may want encouragement, communication, and leadership during a particular project. These employees likely know how to complete the job, but they need help with the what and why.
These employees have a long-term goal, and you can help them get there. Your guidance and resources will be extremely valuable.
Employees may want to check in on their performance at multiple points throughout a project. If this is the case, make sure you’re taking this time to actually talk about performance, and not just the project status.
Others may want to debrief after the project is finished. Make sure to follow-up within a week of the project’s completion, so the experience is still fresh in their minds.
Most employees need performance feedback more regularly – a steady timeline of performance feedback decreases anxiety and provides avenues for constant improvement.
Competitive employees relish being the best. To harness this motivation, try leaderboards, competitions with small prizes, or public personal bests.
With these employees, you’ll find that joint projects really invigorate their work. Include everyone on the team in the creation, monitoring, and completion of these goals.
Some employees have personal objectives to accomplish or a performance standard to which they hold themselves. Ask the employees how you can support those goals or standards.
They want their peers to know how well they did. Mention a small “Atta boy!” in the lunchroom or at your weekly team meeting.
Write them a note of thanks. Submit a letter or email to your boss. Nominate them for any “Employee of the Month” style awards.
These employees may not like a lot of public attention, but they certainly want to hear from you. Dedicate time for this in any meetings the two of you have, or stop by their desk and say something briefly.
For these employees, the ultimate “Great job, Jim!” is more money to do what they love.
Some employees need praise like fish need water – don’t hesitate to give them what they want.
Employees who prefer a title change aren’t greedy, they just want others to value their opinion and thus, want more validity behind their name.
Feedback is a great thing, but it can only function appropriately if it is correctly received by the employee. As a manager, it is your responsibility to get know the intricacies of your employees’ individual preferences and adjust your 360 degree feedback strategies accordingly.
Not only will your employees respond better to your feedback (whether constructive or positive), but they’ll feel more valued and better understood. Ask these questions in quarterly one-on-one meetings to ensure that you stay up to date with your employees’ evolving feedback needs.
Time to give 360 degree feedback? Download the ebook below for a bank of 360 Feedback Questions, as well as tips and templates for building your own.