Feedback is the Breakfast of Champions

Feedback with Colourful Comments Symbol“Do you know exactly where you stand in the organization?”  Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric, says that about two-thirds of the people that he asks are not sure.

When I ask workshop participants this question, I get similar results.  Unfortunately, the major form of tangible feedback for most employees is the annual performance appraisal.

Can you imagine going an entire year not knowing for sure how well you are doing?  That would be like playing a round of golf each weekend and waiting until December to get your scores.

Managers say they give daily feedback to their employees, but most employees do not agree.  Or at least, they do not recognize what the manager did as meaningful feedback.  Managers should, I think, tell employees daily exactly what they like and, if necessary, coach on things to do differently.

Further, I suggest that managers meet monthly with each direct report. The discussions should include specific performance metrics such as number of tasks completed, errors, feedback from customers, and the like—the more specific the better.

And, although it may be uncomfortable, employees would better understand where they stood if managers gave them a monthly grade.  The grade might be something like:  top 10%, or middle 70%, or bottom 10%.

As author and consultant, Ken Blanchard stated, “Feedback is the breakfast of champions!”

What do you think?

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