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The Experts’ Manual For Balancing Sales Employee Feedback

A vital leadership trait is the ability to motivate change rather than sentiments of defeat. CEOs, business owners, managers, and employers feel the strain when it comes to performance management because of how much is on the line when providing sales employee feedback (e.g., reducing morale, insulting a boss, etc.).

Your feedback talks will be far more fruitful if you approach employee feedback with the appropriate structure and strategies. This RisePath article explains how to enhance your listening and communication abilities when it comes to giving employees feedback that is useful.

Additionally, it provides both positive and negative employee feedback examples for you to use in your upcoming performance review.

Learn how to use employee feedback to strengthen your team, enhance your process, and inspire hard work from your staff.

Sales Employee Feedback

How to keep morale high

Giving constructive criticism without going overboard is one of the hardest parts of the process. While encouraging comments might raise spirits and increase output, unkind employee feedback can have the exact opposite effect.

Don’t merely concentrate on the adjustments that staff must make. Show them their accomplishments and motivate them to continue their good work or exceed their limits.

In addition, keep in mind the following while considering employee feedback:

  • Provide both favourable and constructive criticism. Performance evaluations are an opportunity to recognise your employees’ accomplishments, show them appreciation, and raise morale. Make sure that compliments are tailored to the unique qualities that only they possess. It may come off as tacky to say something like, “You have good communication abilities.” Give specific instances to back up your criticism and make staff feel heard.
  • Be sensible. It is unrealistic to ask a worker who is already putting in extra time and handling several tasks to take on more duties. It can be detrimental to morale to require an employee to perform work that is outside their scope of competence. Know your staff members and their capacities, and use caution in how hard you push them to improve.
  • Make sure you’ve given your staff what they need to succeed. If you deliver constructive criticism about something that was out of their control, employees will unavoidably feel frustrated. For instance, as a sales manager, you might have told a salesperson that they didn’t meet a benchmark but may not have given them a sales objective until a week before the end of the quarter. Make sure your staff have the necessary tools, and if you didn’t, accept the loss yourself. This kind of criticism makes workers feel like there is no winning.

You can also utilise some other motivational strategies to raise morale if you believe that you had to go through a necessary but trying feedback phase with a worker or your entire team.

Useful compliments while providing feedback

Team productivity is greatly impacted by how well you keep your staff motivated and content. Unfortunately, giving bad feedback can occasionally prevent this, at least momentarily. The two strategies listed below show how to inject positivity into criticism that might not be entirely favourable.

Use the appropriate introduction for your criticism.

Even if you’re discussing an area where a salesman needs to improve, it’s crucial to maintain a positive attitude when delivering criticism. Use the following examples of encouraging language when giving employees feedback:

  • “It’s going really well so far. Here are some strategies to maintain the momentum.”
  • “Your basis for tackling problems is excellent. Next time, let’s try to improve your strategy.”
  • “[X] needs improvement, yet you’re excelling in [X],”
  • “I completely get what you were attempting to achieve with this. However, I believe that doing [X] would be more beneficial for you.”

Pair any negative comments with positive comments

As was shown above, one strategy is to always follow up critical criticism of an employee with some encouraging words.

To let your staff know you’re aware of their strong performance areas, introduce your employee feedback with the following general areas of performance:

  • Dependability. You may start your feedback by saying, “I appreciate how [you’ve met deadlines, consistently brought in new clients, showed up on time] and always been a team member we can rely on,” if your employee has always been dependable in the past. We require someone like that on this team. But I truly want to see you begin.
  • Improvement. “I’ve seen you really improving in this area, and I would like to see you use that progress in another area,” this can be an example of this affirmation.
  • People abilities. If you can’t think of any specific examples, highlighting an employee’s abilities when dealing with customers or clients is a wonderful approach to fit a complement into your feedback and maintain morale.
  • Adaptability. You shouldn’t ignore an employee’s willingness to change priorities when necessary, fill in for another position, or take on more duties. “I’ve seen your flexibility within the role and appreciate the extra roles/tasks you’ve taken on,” can be a sample of good employee feedback.
  • Innovation. Some personnel have a special talent for coming up with innovative ideas to enhance your process. By utilising their ideas, acknowledging them, and giving them due credit for their contribution, you, as the manager or boss, may identify this skill and gain good employee feedback.
  • Organization. Organizational abilities are a terrific asset to have on any team and should be highlighted for every employee during the feedback process.

Recall that receiving too many unfavourable comments can lower morale. The dialogue will stay more neutral if you use positive language, and you’ll probably get greater outcomes when you’re attempting to streamline the procedures for your team or business.

Making employee feedback a frequent part of performance reviews

A performance evaluation process is used in many businesses. Although it may appear tedious to all the managers, this normalises input, promotes employee involvement, and provides information on how the employees feel about upcoming initiatives. Additionally, performance reviews have the following uses:

  • HR (human resources) or corporate policy reiteration. You can establish regulations that apply to the entire firm, regardless of size. If you already have a policy similar to this, be sure to mention any employee input during the performance evaluation.
  • Preventing concerns before they grow to be more serious. It is always better to put out a fire when it is little than to let it grow. If you often conduct reviews, this is an excellent time for you to raise any minor problems and offer solutions. Naturally, significant issues should be discussed as soon as they arise since in-the-moment feedback enables staff members or managers to remedy their mistakes (if possible) and change their direction more quickly.
  • Numerous chances to boost morale. Employee opinions shouldn’t always be unfavourable, as was previously said. Giving compliments, however, may not come naturally to many of us, or we may forget after the incident has passed. You can reflect on instances when you were proud of a direct report at a regular review period that has been planned in advance. To prepare and record these moments to share during the review process, consider creating a reminder a few days prior to the review meeting.

If you are in charge of making decisions on a business culture policy like this, you can decide whether to schedule employee reviews annually, quarterly, or monthly. If you’re a manager and your firm doesn’t have a policy like this, you may still check in with your direct reports in an informal but regular manner and give them feedback (both positive and negative).

How to get your staff to give you performance reviews

Companies with strong cultures recognise the need for mutual feedback. Even if managers, CEOs, supervisors, and higher-ups may have greater experience or expertise, everyone can always do better. A great manager should be receptive to criticism and, in fact, promote it from their team members so that you can enhance your leadership style.

Try some of our advice if you’re unsure how to begin asking your staff for feedback or a follow-up:

Make it clear that you care about what they have to say.

Making a point to ask for feedback from your staff is a crucial first step because, more often than not, they won’t provide it unless you specifically ask them to.

Think about including management input in your regular performance assessments, hosting gatherings where staff may voice their opinions, or setting up one-on-one meetings with your direct reports to discuss any changes that need to be made.

Establish a location where employees may be truthful.

The majority of workers are reluctant to give their supervisor any sort of unfavourable feedback. Making pulse surveys (rapid questionnaires) is one method of introducing the concept of feedback to employees.

Allowing employees to provide feedback anonymously is another effective strategy for receiving sincere input from them.

Defences should be left at the door.

Make sure to be open to receiving input from your staff if you chose to solicit it directly. Being defensive can deter them from offering additional comments in the future.

On the other hand, when you as a manager accept criticism politely, you can improve communication and make your staff members more receptive to criticism in the future.

Examples of comments from employees

There are specific feedback scenarios that may be found in the majority of businesses, despite the fact that there are numerous distinct sorts of employee feedback and a wide range of various situations.

Examples of typical scenarios where you might be giving feedback as a manager are given below. Let’s start by looking at some instances of positive comments.

Examples of good employee feedback

  • When a worker acquired a new skill: “I observed that you took the time to learn [X] and I truly appreciate seeing that extra effort,” a manager could say when an employee has picked up a new ability. “I’ll have more opportunities to use your abilities in [X] scenarios.”
  • If a worker was successful in resolving a dispute: “I observed you dealing with [X] client/coworker and noticed the conflict there. The way you handled things was incredibly admirable, and I’d like to instil that mentality throughout our entire team. I appreciate your prompt and considerate response.”
  • You believe a worker who has been doing well might do well in a leadership position: “I hope you know I’ve seen the extra effort you’ve been putting in. I want to promote you to a higher position at a leadership level because of how efficient and quick you are with your current duties. Do you think you’d be interested in this?”
  • Saying you want to see more of something: “I saw that you did [X] and I just wanted to say, that’s precisely what we’re looking for and I want to keep seeing that fantastic work from you. I’d also like the rest of our team to put that into practice.”

Let’s now examine how to provide constructive criticism.

Constructive employee feedback examples

  • Not meeting a deadline: “You appear to have a busy schedule lately, and I saw that you missed [X] deadline. Can we discuss your work so far and the measures you still need to take to finish this project together?”
  • Performance decline: “You’ve always been a valued member of this team, but lately I’ve felt you back off from your roles and responsibilities. Could the members of this team assist you with anything outside of this team that is harming your performance?”
  • Being an unhelpful teammate: “In yesterday’s meeting, I saw you knocked down [X’s] idea pretty quickly. To ensure that everyone is aware of how we operate as a team here, I just want to clarify a few things.”

Take note of how the tone is still reserved and cordial despite the examples of constructive employee feedback. Naturally, there may come a time with a worker when being straightforward and firm is essential. However, it’s advisable, to begin with the least harsh sort of feedback in order to prevent depleting morale.

Final thoughts

An important aspect of the connection between a manager and employee is regular feedback. An improved employee experience is also provided by a culture that values favourable feedback. Regular feedback usually produces better employees since happy workers are more eager to go above and beyond in their jobs.

Consistent, constructive criticism can lead to small, incremental process adjustments that, over time, result in a significantly improved experience for both managers and employees.

Therefore, it is important to practise giving and accepting feedback throughout the whole employment tenure. It could be early to offer feedback after a new hire has started. However, asking for comments regarding their experience as soon as it is still fresh in their minds might offer useful insight into your procedures.

Although providing employee feedback can seem like a difficult, uncomfortable activity, the ideas in this article can help you create a method that motivates rather than discourages employees.

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    Asha patel

    Asha has been a program manager, project manager and product manager for multiple Fortune 500 global companies. She has experience with implementing many successful technology, operations and product management projects.

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