Even though many employees are driven by feedback, both positive and negative, the process of giving feedback is often forced into this unnatural checklist of making sure people are hitting certain milestones or delivering on specific metrics, and then it starts to feel like you’re rating people, rather than actually reviewing their job abilities and offering constructive feedback to help them grow and develop.
Expectations aren’t set properly, emotions get involved, and improper delivery makes many people feel like feedback is a judgment, not a supportive tool. As a leader or HR team member, your entire responsibility is to help employees grow and thrive. When it’s done well, feedback can provide people with a window for the future, goals, and visions, and new challenges to strive to overcome.
What does ”done well” mean, though? Too often, people walk into a review and are handed some form-filled response regarding the ratings of their skills and accomplishments in various areas. The scores are tallied, and a total is determined, which essentially “scores” people on their progress.
There's your problem—people aren’t going to respond well to being rated for effectiveness like another piece of equipment for your business. They want to be treated like people and talked to like they aren’t just trying to reach these magic measuring sticks that don’t indicate how well someone is actually doing.
Feedback could be the perfect tool for growth and development. Unfortunately, so many people struggle to take feedback and even more struggle to give it, which creates a toxic cycle of employee progress tracking and reporting that is ineffective, at best. Fortunately, there are several tools available today that can change that.
In addition to investing in the best tools for feedback and employee management, there are things that you can do to deliver better in the moment and provide people with information and insight that they can actually use. It starts with realizing that this, again, isn’t a judgment session. You're not “grading” your employee like you would a student. You’re identifying their capabilities, shortcomings, and overall job performance to help them improve and perform better, which will thereby help your company perform better.
Put simply, you’re trying to help employees improve. When you’re giving the right feedback in the right ways, the process goes a lot more smoothly.
It starts with your intentions—providing feedback is a good choice if you are trying to guide, mentor, or support your employees. It's also a great way to show commitment or concern for your employees and provide a sense of responsibility and accountability for everyone. It is not a good idea to choose this route if you’re trying to tear someone down, appease a boss or other entity, or even just because you’ve had a rough day and you’re tired of this or that. Your intention must be positive if you are going to be effective.
Another thing that needs to be positive is your tone of voice and the way that you convey the feedback. If you sound hostile, harsh, or dismissive at all, employees will take that negatively, regardless of what you are actually saying to them. People feel vulnerable when they are put on the spot to be critiqued. Understand that and be compassionate and supportive.
Feedback also needs to be candid, specific, and meaningful to the employee. You can’t just tell them they did something wrong. You need to explain what went wrong, how, and what they could have done differently or what they should do moving forward. Speaking of specifics, you’ll also want to make sure that your feedback is given in a timely manner. Don't let an issue sit for six months and then bring it up in a review—say something right away.
All positive and effective feedback is focused on the future and the effort of accomplishing one or multiple goals. While there is a past event that is responsible for triggering the feedback in the first place, your purpose is going to be to provide people with supportive advice and assistance in figuring out where to go from here and what to do next time.
You can’t fix the past. However, you can use past lessons to change the future for your employees when you do it right.
The single-biggest faux pas that people make when it comes to giving feedback and evaluating employees is criticizing the employee instead of focusing on the process and the actions that took place. You aren’t going to call someone “incapable” because they did something wrong—you should explain what they did, how they should have done it, and discuss with them whether they understand and how they can respond differently in the future.
Speaking of processes, if you’re looking for a better way to handle several of yours, consider partnering with the virtual receptionists at Smith.ai for things like 24/7 live website chat, inbound and outbound calling, and more.
The average new hire costs a company around $4,000. Unless you’ve got change lying around to spare, you’re going to want to invest in your existing employees as much as you can. Part of that comes with feedback tracking software like the top tools discussed below.
This platform was designed based on the simple premise of saving time. Employees take just 15 minutes to answer a survey and then managers can review it within five minutes and generate feedback. However, it’s also got a lot of other great features worth considering. This tool is designed to help empower employees and unlock their full potential.
With 15Five, you can create custom surveys, use prompts, set authorizations and review permissions, and share information with others in the organization. You can also create groups and teams, help employees set and track goals and accomplishments, and keep people accountable, all within the app. Trend tracking is part of the reporting suite, and you’ll also enjoy that the platform is backed by the science of psychology to help you create better teams and employees that thrive in your company.
Culture Amp offers a host of tools for company culture surveys, employee pulse tracking, and performance reviews. You can even review data based on the employee lifecycle, demographics, and time frame. There are impressive reporting features included, as well, and account managers will have access to set up access for users and managers as needed.
This app lets you create surveys for individuals and teams and send specific employees and managers the surveys and results, based on single user exceptions and allowances. The app is easy to use and takes just seconds to get started and will help your company track and give better feedback all around.
When you want to keep tabs on employee engagement and culture while also tracking performance and feedback, this tool has what you need. The TinyPulse platform makes it easy to set up your questions and surveys, sending out one question each week with multiple answer options and question styles to choose from.
Employee feedback is presented anonymously in some cases, allowing others to feel safe sharing and collaborating. It’s not as focused on generating reviews and constructive criticism, but it is another tool that your company can use to make sure that employees are all on the right track. It's also a great way to get a gauge on whether people’s performance is a company issue or a personal one.
Officevibe helps you gather specific insights and figure out where you can find opportunities for improved efficiency, as well as to help create a dialogue among them to help improve the company as a whole. The tool even makes it easy to package your results for easy sharing throughout the organization and of course, you can choose between custom surveys and pre-loaded prompts.
The Officevibe app also includes custom polling and employee engagement survey options, from how often you send them to what kind of questions they contain, and more. You will learn what people need and be able to help provide them with feedback, as well, so that everyone can perform better and work toward a more successful future.
If you want an advanced tool for tracking employee progress and feedback, Weekdone is what you need. This tool features easy project management and task management tools that hold employees accountable and allow them to set their own progress milestones and plans for the week. There is also the option to create custom questions and prompts.
This app integrates with several of the tools you already use and makes it easy for you to analyze team productivity and give valuable feedback to employees. You can also find detailed reports and make sure that the company’s objectives and employee goals are in line.
With Reflektive, managers will be able to conduct monthly, quarterly, or yearly performance reviews, set up team and company goals, and even allow employees to offer feedback to their coworkers. You can create morale polls and allow employees to check in and tell you how they’re feeling, and you can create individual goals and tracking tools, as well.
Reflektive is an all-inclusive performance tracking tool that makes it easy to help your employees excel. It offers enhanced analytics and engagement tools and increases performance, engagement, and retention among companies who use the software. You can engage people with recognition tools and features and measure the results together so that it’s a team effort.
Impraise offers a full-featured solution for employee reviews, feedback, and praise. The platform allows managers to customize the review process or use standard built-in resources, as well as to request feedback on their own performance from their best reports. The tool offers a unique Key Strengths dashboard that allows managers and employees to list the skills, track skill acquisition and proficiency, and more.
With Impraise, you can go beyond just tracking feedback to providing your team members with a roadmap for their professional development. It offers several intuitive features and even lets you set user access permissions and managerial accounts. Share reports and insights with other company leaders and employees, and help employees get better at continuous improvement.
Jotform Survey Maker helps you create surveys with its easy drag-and-drop interface. By using one of their 280+ survey templates, you can make collecting feedback engaging and unique to your own brand. Just add your questions and set up conditional logic, and share your custom surveys with just a link to start gathering data from your clients or customers.
Collecting job satisfaction surveys can be time-consuming, easily one of the hardest parts of being an HR professional. But by utilizing Jotform’s Form Analytics feature, your company can analyze the data they collect and reveal important insights about your employees. You can have access to all of Jotform’s features for absolutely free.
Okay, so you’ve decided to embrace a new tool to help you track feedback. How, though, are you going to make sure that it delivers? What other ways can you work to provide your employees with a better culture or more resources that help them succeed in a day? When you enlist the assistance of the dedicated team at Smith.ai, you can do it all, streamline several mundane tasks, and let us handle all the calls and messages while you’re cultivating your team.
Employee feedback is the backbone of your staff. When done right, it can help your company excel in many different ways. When done poorly, it can cause issues like poor engagement, a lack of culture, and people who feel like they will never measure up or just aren’t appreciated by the company that they work for. Avoid that by implementing the best feedback software for employee engagement and reviews, as well as by learning the right ways to give feedback and work through the review process.
While you’re working through it, we’ll help you create workflows that work through all of your most critical tasks, from overflow calls during peak times to helping with scheduling, sales development, and even after-hours phone answering and live website chat to answer questions and provide the support that both employees and clients need.
Schedule your Live Chat consultation now to learn more about the ways that Smith.ai can streamline your day-to-day operations so that you can focus on building your team with better reviews and engagement tools like the ones listed here. You can also call us at (650) 727-6484 or drop us an email.