Feedback is relevant in all businesses and personal relationships. Here at Matthai we thrive on feedback. Feedback from you, our customer helps us become a better partner. Feedback from us, to our team members helps them become better partner with you, our customer. Our feedback to our manufacturers helps them build better products. It's a necessary circle that helps improve the relationship between us and our customers, vendors, suppliers and manufacturers.
Below are some of the key factors that we keep in mind considering the ART of getting and giving effective feedback:
- First and foremost, be honest. Say it respectfully, but say it. Sugar coating feedback does none of us any good.
- Reinforce the positive. If we're doing something right, it's certainly nice to hear too. And so it goes for our team members, suppliers and manufacturers. It helps the team member gain confidence to reinforce the positive and provides them energy to shore up any weaknesses.
- Be specific in your feedback. "You did a great job"...at what? Specifically, "you did an excellent job on that recent repair, your timeliness, thoroughness, testing the repair and clean up" was very professional.
- Make it a two-way conversation. Clarify, be sure the other party understands the feedback.
- Always provide constructive criticism in a private setting. It's acceptable to give positive feedback in front of peers, but take anything that might even be considered criticism to a private location.
- Focus on the behavior. You can change behaviors that can improve performance. "You need to improve your lead times" won't suffice. Focus on what they can change in behavior that will lead to improved lead times.
- Make sure you separate an observation from a judgement. "I noticed you were late two days this week" needs to be clarified as "In my opinion it is not acceptable to be late two times this week." It's ok to follow up an observation with an opinion or judgement, just be sure you include the judgement aspect if you are trying to change behavior, or recognize positive behavior.
Improved feedback improves performance. And improved performance leads to a better relationship between all partners. Need a partner that's always looking to improve? We would love to listen!