When you’re provided with an evaluation of your performance or those of your subordinates, that feedback is pure opportunity. Utilizing this information you can:
Utilizing critical feedback is an essential part of working for a complex business, but overall for life. When provided with data, the only thing you can reasonably do is use it to improve; your performance, your employees, or the job itself.
Engaging in a traditional punitive system is where you chastise and put marks against your employees for messing up, a data-driven supervisory system is far more fruitful. Most people have, at some point, worked a job where you could be arbitrarily “written up” for some performance-related incident and then let go without much preamble. These types of systems are not great for retaining or inspiring employees.
When you do consistent evaluations, you can determine what part of a position works, what should be moved, what should be cut, and how you can make the rest of it work efficiently. Maybe an employee would be better suited in another position in the office, and sometimes, unfortunately, they need to be cut in general. You can get all of this from regular performance evaluations and critical feedback.
If your office performs on a measurable quota, like units sold or prospects converted into customers, the first place to use critical feedback is to evaluate past performance in a position. If you have an employee doing a job that has, traditionally, put up specific numbers, you want to make sure they meet that bar. If they’re not, the feedback you receive can be crucial to figuring out what’s going wrong.
This is exceptionally useful when you have years of quality data to look at. If prior employees functioned at a certain capacity under specific conditions, how do things differ for your current staff? If they do differ, can they be improved or returned to their original methods, and if they’re the same, why is this employee struggling now?
Critical feedback, for better or worse, shows holes in performance and systems, which provides the basis you need to improve.
If you have an employee who performs commendably in their job and is doing everything right but is still struggling, critical feedback can show you where not to look. Sometimes you have consistent glowing feedback from customers and co-workers about a staff member but they constantly run afoul of their supervisor; this begs you to consider if the supervisor is the problem.
In cases like these, you have to consider how to use critical feedback to improve morale and shore up supervisory roles. This can be difficult but supervisors are employees as well; though they have more experience, not everyone in a managerial position can lead effectively, and that’s something to consider as well.
Data is always neutral but it’s how you use it that is either bad or good. Jumping to conclusions when you receive negative feedback is never advisable; you can lose valuable employees or damage morale. Likewise, sitting on critical feedback with no adjustments made is a waste of everyone’s time. Use what’s given to you effectively and your business and employees will thrive.