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Recognition and feedback balance

WE all know the benefits of recognition and feedback on performance. But here’s the rub. We are too busy to give our people recognition and feedback and we expect them to always do what needs doing to the best of their ability. That’s fair. The tricky part is that many of the messages people get are about the things they didn’t do well. So, from their point of view, they think that their good work goes unrecognised. Even your worst employee does some good things, even if it’s only turning up for work on the right days and knowing their name. And, to make this a two-way street, what feedback do you seek on your performance? How well are you managing recognition and feedback within your team or workgroup? • The need for and benefits of providing feedback on performance are discussed and agreed. • We identify the expectations and perceptions of team members in relation to the recognition and feedback they would like. • We explore the best ways to provide recognition and feedback. • We look for opportunities to acknowledge the good performance of team members. • We provide regular recognition and feedback to each other and to the team. • We feel comfortable enough to share reactions with other team members on their behaviours and its impact upon the team and individual so we can continuously improve performance. • We learn from our mistakes and amend what is required to ensure we utilise mistakes for learning and as a process for continuous improvement. • We provide appropriate feedback covering things done well and things to improve. • We acknowledge “right efforts” as much as “right results”. • We seek feedback on our own performance. • We make provision for rewards and recognition to be given for good performance. • We praise in public, criticise in private. • We check that the intention of the feedback was received and understood. • Feedback is directed towards behaviour about which the person can do something. • Counter-productive behaviour is described rather than evaluated when giving feedback on performance. • We provide a balance between positive and negative feedback. • We receive feedback and utilise it as a basis to improve our own and team performance. • We spend time coaching one another and constructively debating how we could all stretch ourselves to be better than we are. We implement the outcomes of the discussions willingly. • The performance indicators used to evaluate team and individual performance are known and accepted. • The required performance standards for each team member are discussed and accepted. • We regularly compare our current performance against our benchmarks (expectations, key performance indicators) and make adjustments to ensure we are performing optimally. • Feedback is given at the earliest opportunity about the particular behaviour to be addressed. • The needs of the person receiving feedback are taken into account. • As a team we provide appropriate feedback to our leader on the role they currently play with the team, we include specific suggestions for changes, if required. Daniel Kehoe

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