Acknowledging and Guiding Employees

Acknowledging and Guiding Employees

Acknowledging and guiding (providing ongoing feedback) staff members can be made in either a positive or constructive manner.   Feedback should include comments on how effectively the employee is carrying out his or her role, as well as comments on accomplishments (or lack of accomplishments) on assigned goals or projects.  When observing employees, a manager should look for trends in performance (e.g. is performance steadily improving or declining).  Also, look for critical incidents (e.g. outstanding successes or failures).  Feedback can be provided in either formalized meetings and/or on an informal basis.

Documenting Employee Performance

Managers should also document employee performance on a regular basis, especially if the behavior is ineffective.  Such documentation can include:

  • Noting performance in a structured manner where performance examples are listed – examples should include the performance expectation or goal, the date that the example occurred, and comments on why performance was effective or not effective.


       Performance Goal - Produce work in a timely manner
       Date - 10/20/2011
       Comments – Monthly report was submitted five days after deadline


  • Work Samples – Managers can maintain examples of work that illustrate good or poor performance.
A Feedback Model

Step 1: Open the conversation with an affirmative statement.


Step 2: Say what was specifically done (describe the behavior) – e.g. you welcomed the customer by saying
             “how may I help you?” and greeted him with a smile.


Step 3: Say why the behavior was effective or ineffective

  • If it was EFFECTIVE, explain why it was effective – it was effective because it showed the customer you wanted to assist him.
  • If it was INEFFECTIVE, explain why it was not effective, and offer an alternate approach that would be more effective, and explain why that would be more effective.
Step 4: Involve the individual in the conversation by asking open-ended questions (be honest, be specific
              and show support.)