Feedback is vital in any role. Feedback helps improve performance, engage and motivate staff.
It shouldn’t just be an annual event as part of performance management. It should be a regular ongoing part of a manager’s role.
Giving meaningful timely feedback is a skill which takes practice. With virtual and hybrid working becoming the norm, there is a need to hone our virtual feedback skills.
There’s a fine art to giving feedback from a distance without it coming across as too remote or uninformed or lacking in empathy.
Remote working in itself isn’t new. People have been doing it for years to various degrees. But, giving feedback from a distance has become the reluctant norm for many teams since most workplaces went completely remote from March 2020.
Popping our head rounds someone’s door asking “are you free for a quick chat”, or taking someone for a face to face coffee to give confidential, meaningful and professional feedback, is no longer always possible. So, in the absence of in-person feedback you need to compensate for when it isn’t an option.
Giving feedback from a distance requires a different approach to in-person contact, ensuring messages don’t get misconstrued and offence isn’t taken where it wasn’t intended.
A top tips checklist for giving feedback from a distance includes:-
- Promptness – Address things as they happen. Giving feedback from a distance shouldn’t be made to wait. Otherwise, the moment will have passed. Your feedback might come across as irrelevant, nit-picking or untimely if you fail to provide it swiftly whilst it still matters.
- Specificity – Don’t make sweeping generalisations when you’re giving feedback from a distance, assuming your team members automatically know what you’re talking about and referring to. Do they?
- Praise – In public. It’s very easy to let recognition and reward slip when you’re working remotely, because it’s usually more difficult to spot team members who are going the extra mile. Give them a big loud cheer in front of everybody else when they do. Feedback is not always about improvement, it is also celebrating great work.
- Discipline – In private. Don’t call anybody out in front of the rest of the team. Do any chastising privately. There might be underlying issues affecting somebody’s performance that you aren’t aware of – until now.
- Empathy – Demonstrate openness and understanding. Remind your team that you don’t have the 360 degree view you were used to when everybody was in the same workplace. Make sure they know your virtual door remains open. Keep your eyes and ears open for any warning signs or comments that suggest a team member is struggling professionally or personally.
- Face to Face – Even thought we are not face face to we can still make sure we operate the same principle. So cameras on, no distractions, eye contact and listen.
A great help when giving feedback is to use TIPS:
At Sales Training International, we offer a broad portfolio of virtual training courses with the aim of bringing together Managers and teams who working remote. Giving feedback from a distance can be a tricky business until you get used to doing it effectively. That’s exactly what we’re here to help you do.