Management Challenge Program Designer Kate McLagan is penning our latest blog series “Top 5 Mistakes Managers Make”. Over the next five weeks, Kate will explore these critical mistakes that managers make in their relationships with their direct reports. Read on for Part 1: Lack of Feedback.
Manager Mistake #1: Lack of Feedback
Today’s workplace is a feedback desert. Feedback often comes in the form of a once-a-year, awkward, 45-minute conversation with your boss. Without ongoing feedback throughout the year, it is nearly impossible for employees to know where they stand in the company. Employees need to know what you expect them to do, how well you expect them to do, and when you expect them to do it.
They need regular, specific feedback on performance – where they’re excelling and where they need to improve. As a manager, you have to communicate to your employees the insights you have from your vantage point. Your employees cannot grow professionally if you do not relay to them where they are performing well and where they could be better.
They need to understand how their work fits into the overall mission and purpose of the business unit as well as the company. Help your employees see the big picture so that they feel connected to the company’s success. For example, when you delegate a task to an employee, explain to them why the task is necessary, not just in the short term, but for reaching company goals.
They need to know their level of authority: what decisions they can make on their own and when to involve others. Empower your people to do what they were hired to do, while setting clear guidelines for when they should consult with you.
Providing ongoing feedback gives your employees a window into your thought process. When everyone is clear on what is expected of them and how well they are performing, managers and employees can work together towards improvement.
Avoid This Mistake:
- Frequency of feedback should be based on individual needs
- Specific feedback tied to performance should set clear expectations
- Employees must know their level of authority