Believe it or not, feedback is what your employees REALLY crave from their leader. Here are some ways you can improve your approach.
Giving Your Team Effective Feedback
As a leader in a homecare operation, there will come a day (or two, or three…) when you will have to give feedback to one of your staff.
Cue the record scratch.
The word feedback has developed a bit of a nasty reputation as negative, but it doesn’t have to be, and neither does the conversation that you have to have with your staff. What does it have to be? Timely, transparent, and fair.
Plan the feedback session
Do you feel silly talking to yourself? Get comfortable with it, because practicing what you’re going to say out loud in a feedback session will make it easier when the time comes. These conversations can be uncomfortable for both the leader and the employee. By knowing what you’re going to say, anticipating questions, and encouraging dialogue, you’ll be able to make both you and the employee as comfortable as possible.
Have you ever heard the phrase “You always…or You Never”? I know my feathers get ruffled when I do! Don’t give the feedback in a wide, generalized manner. Be specific to the situation at hand. “You always wear the wrong colored scrubs,” is hard to fix, but “Blue scrubs need to be worn on Wednesdays,” is clear, and an easy action to correct.
Bonus points: Avoid using “You” statements and substitute “I” instead; it’s less accusatory.
This is huge. Please, please, please don’t let too much time go by before speaking to your employee if there is a specific incident to discuss. People can provide more information if it is fresh in their minds, and it gives them the easiest opportunity to fix (or avoid repeating) any mistakes.
Don’t make assumptions
Look, we healthcare leaders are human too! Sometimes we jump to conclusions, assume we know it all, and then fall flat on our faces and have to backtrack. Let's avoid that, shall we? Go into every feedback discussion with an open mind and ask lots of questions. There are times when there are obvious conversations that need to be had, but you may be surprised what comes up when open-ended questions are introduced into the discussion.
Don’t let one situation form your impression of your employee or staff member. Just like you (cough, cough, a human that makes mistakes, remember?), your staff brings a wide range of experience and knowledge to their role, and one situation does not define them or their abilities.
Give more good than bad
To reiterate my previous point, feedback doesn’t have to be bad! In fact, it can be great! It’s just usually called “recognition” instead. Make note of the awesome work that your staff is doing, and then tell them about it!
Giving feedback is an integral part of being a great leader. Doing so in a transparent, professional way leads to greater compliance, increases operational efficiency, and improves staff engagement.
As healthcare leaders, it is so important to create an environment and a culture where staff members feel coached, not chastised.
Apply the above practices to your next feedback conversation to see how you feel more confident and make your employee more comfortable and open to feedback. Need more help with managing and leading a high-performing team? Let's talk!