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Annual feedback conversations do little to support employees’ goals or monitor their progress. That’s why so many organizations have been switching to continuous, constructive forms of feedback. Ongoing feedback conversations allow employees to see the impact their work has and to adjust their behaviors in order to improve performance in real time.

But feedback is not magic; it needs to be delivered properly in order for you and your employees to get the most out of it.

If you’re struggling to get feedback conversations rolling, try utilizing some of these phrases to give yourself a good launching-off point:

Leadership

Positive Reinforcement

[Employee Name]:

- demonstrates clear leadership abilities by always being on top of projects.
- always meets company time expectations/is very punctual.
- juggles multiple tasks like a pro.
- manages daily tasks with ease.
- leads group projects with precision.

Setting Goals

[Employee Name], going forward we should:

- work ahead by setting up a schedule for future project completion.
- increase punctuality by complying with break time rules.
- share workloads by collaborating with coworkers.
- organize a list of extra tasks to work on once regular work is completed.
- include coworkers in group management processes to promote group cohesion.

Reliability

Positive Reinforcement

[Employee Name]:

- meets the expectations of the position.
- is always available when needed.
- asks for extra work on their own.
- never misses a deadline.
- always comes to work on time/when scheduled.

Setting Goals

[Employee Name], going forward we should:

- set guidelines and step-by-step instructions to identify and meet all role requirements.
- reduce your workload to prioritize essential tasks and projects.
- introduce extra tasks to be completed when priority tasks are completed ahead of schedule.
- use a time management system to help push projects along faster.
- map out a new schedule that better suits your needs.

Accountability

Positive Reinforcement

[Employee Name]:

- takes their position seriously.
- immediately owns up to errors and mistakes.
- corrects errors and mistakes cordially and in a professional manner.
- maintains responsibility for tasks, projects, and other job-related work.
- communicates important information effectively with clients.

Setting Goals

[Employee Name], going forward we should:

- incorporate training sessions to help improve understanding of job requirements.
- monitor and track issues to better prepare for errors and mistakes, should they occur.
- set up an adjustable response system to manage errors and mistakes.
- establish a checklist to help organize individual tasks.
- create a series of regular recommendations or topics to help both sides improve communications.

Productivity

Positive Reinforcement

[Employee Name]:

- produces projects and content within cost-efficient timeframes.
- creates well-designed projects and content.
- organizes projects and content effectively.
- works diligently on tasks/is always busy.
- moves through project lists easily.

Setting Goals

[Employee Name], going forward we should:

- balance time management with productivity through an clearly organized schedule.
- learn how to use different or new design and creation methods.
- coordinate how to effectively sort projects and content by level of importance.
- set up productivity lists to check off as projects are completed.
- include short, weekly check-ins to monitor progress on projects and in areas for improvement.

One final note: Using a “we” mindset is crucial when setting goals with an employee. It turns feedback into a genuine conversation, rather than a blame game. Getting the most out of any feedback conversation requires that employees and managers approach the discussion as a dialogue between respected equals. Otherwise employees won’t feel personally connected to their goals.

A version of this article originally appeared on the iRevü blog.

Michael Heller is the CEO and founder of iRevü.



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