Thursday, September 24, 2009

Is this a bold move?

You decide that after reading this post.

There’s enough written about managers. I’ve written about it myself
here, here & here. But this post is completely devoted to a much avoided/evaded part of a manager’s role: Giving Feedback

So here’s a suggestion I have: Why don’t we make giving feedback a part of a manager’s performance review? Make it objective and quantifiable.

Why should we go with this approach to management? Here’s why:

- It will make managers give feedback. Simple. Right? Yes, sometimes a basic request for feedback isn’t met. At times it’s completely avoided too.

- Feedback can be tracked and reviewed along with other parameters as part of the manager’s performance review. It would help identify areas in which the manager might need help, when it comes to giving feedback.

- Takes away the opportunity to just give hints and get away with it. The recipient knows exactly what’s been said.

- Avoids arguments. When the feedback is clear and precise it doesn’t give room for arguments, debates or worse, assumptions!

- When you make it quantifiable, the manager’s focus will be on giving feedback with enough data.

- Makes it a direct interaction between the manager and his direct report. Often, feedback is passed through other leads/employees. An approach that always backfires.

- It helps set-up a clear communication channel between managers and direct reports. Performance parameters can be set openly and discussed without any discomfort.

- Expectations can be set, managed and communicated effectively.

- It takes away the assumption that giving feedback is a one-time effort.

- Once the feedback is in place, it would help with formulating measures for improving the direct report’s performance. Follow-up can be well planned, tracked and executed easily.

- PIP (Performance Improvement Plan) will make more sense than before. Since feedback is captured on a regular basis and hence helps avoid surprising the recipient.

Thinks to watch out for:

- Managers need to be trained before implementing this move.

- Feedback is to be given only about work. Shouldn’t be a personal judgment of the manager.

There could be many more instances to look out for. That’s exactly why a training session would be helpful. Is this a bold move? Maybe not. It’s a matter of companies implementing and manager’s accepting it. Yes,
Change is Strange!

Do you think your organization is ready for this? Are you ready for this? Do you manage people? Are you a leader? Do you report to a manager who gives feedback? Do you report to a manager who hates giving feedback? Would love to hear your thoughts. I’m open to receive feedback!