By Myron A. Harmon
Myron A. Harmon is the Vice President of Global Talent Management & Development and a new contributor to the AchieveGlobal blog. Myron and his team are responsible for all aspects of human resources policies, objectives, initiatives and managing all items related to employee relations and development globally. He has over twenty plus years of experience in the areas of human resources, performance development, training and customer service.
It’s a timeless challenge among organizational leaders: how can I redirect employee efforts without squelching their motivation?
Misguided but well-intended employee efforts deserve to be recognized. Yet without effective feedback, too, the result can be one of two undesirable outcomes: persistence in the wrong direction, or ruining the motivation behind the efforts.
So it’s really important to get the process of giving feedback right. At AchieveGlobal, we recommend a “needs-based” approach. What does this mean, and how can it be accomplished?
Giving Needs-Based FeedbackTM focuses on supporting the internal motivation of employees to deliver organizational results. It begins by recognizing that we all gain internal motivation when our work allows us to satisfy our psychological needs for competence, relatedness, and autonomy. This approach to feedback focuses on the employee by:
- Engaging in sincere two-way dialogue
- Rationalizing specific structures and actions
- Collaborating on solutions and next steps
- Reinforcing links between a solution and the employee’s psychological needs
Five key actions can help leaders affect needs-based feedback:
- Framing the discussion, describing the issues while avoiding blame or judgment.
- Exploring employee perspectives by asking them to share their point of view and inviting them to take ownership of the issue.
- Assessing the impact of the challenge or issue.
- Clarifying relevant policies, procedures or guidelines.
- Discovering solutions and possible next steps, encouraging the employee’s participation.
There are few exchanges as important as giving feedback and redirecting an employee’s efforts to ensure they align with organizational needs. This important conversation should be governed by the broader objective of keeping the employee engaged and focused on success.
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