How to Provide Regular Supervisory Feedback to Improve Employee Performance

Certainly, most employees expect at least an annual performance review, but almost 90% of employees also want to meet monthly with their supervisor for more informal performance discussions. And, not surprisingly, regular supervisor feedback is much more effective at shaping employee performance than a once-a-year review.

Here are some managment skills tips for making those regular, informal employee coaching meetings as productive and positive as possible:

  • Prepare for the meeting by reviewing notes from previous meetings with this employee, jotting down possible challenges, and listing 1-2 things you’d like to take away from the discussion.

  • Meet in a neutral environment and allow ample time; discourage taking calls or reading texts/emails.

  • Informal performance discussions are about building trust and rapport. There should be no surprises or bombshells about what you discuss with the employee.

  • Start the meeting by acknowledging the employee’s strengths and accomplishments. Describe their good behavior in detail and ask what they think they’ve been doing well.

  • Talk about weaknesses in terms of needs or learning opportunities. Listen attentively to the employee’s perspective here. During employee coaching, strive to collaborate on solutions and set “desired outcomes” together.

  • These meetings should be a 2-way street where you give one another informal feedback, so ask the employee for ways that you could better motivate them or the entire team.

These “one-on-ones” are the perfect time to build rapport with an employee, go over assignments, goals, progress or obstacles, and discuss anything that might be on your or their mind.

Specifically, it’s important for supervisors to communicate clear expectations to their employees. This includes performance and behavioral expectations. When assigning a task, it means clearly stating what you expect in terms of the deliverable, the process, the deadline, and any other details. It’s also important to convey that you have high expectations for your employees; it’s been proven that when employees perceive that their supervisors expect them to do well, they perform better.

When employees aren’t performing up to expectations, it’s your responsibility to address the problem quickly. The way you deliver this supervisor feedback can reduce defensiveness and increase the employee’s chance of success. Focused, non-accusatory, factual conversations offer excellent feedback and employee coaching opportunities.

Training for managers and supervisors helps them learn how to guide and motivate their team members.

Teach supervisors how to hold informal performance discussions that motivate employees to be effective with The Respectful Supervisor: Motivating and Retaining Employees. This video program reveals some of the best ways supervisors can convey respect: paying attention to employees, engaging them in regular communication, and demonstrating commitment to employee well-being and growth.

For more managment training on how to hold more formal performance discussions, use Discussing Performance to teach supervisors and managers how to make these meetings painless, productive and successful.