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Lesson 6. Managing Performance > Feedback and Rewards - Pg. 26

Managing Performance Plain English 26 A telecommuter is an employee who works from home, often linked to a central office by computer. Feedback and Rewards Although feedback and rewards are two different aspects of reacting to your employees' work, they are often tied together. For example, after landing a major new account, Jennifer's boss told her that not only was he pleased with how she performed, but that she would be receiving a bonus for her good work. Both feedback and rewards give employees a sense of how well they've done their jobs in the eyes of their manager and the organization. Feedback Feedback is vital to the health of a unit. A leader must communicate feedback effectively to a staff in order to get desired results and improved future performance. As a leader and manager of people, you'll be required to give both negative and positive feedback. Both are necessary, although positive feedback may be the easier of the two to communicate. Positive feedback should be given when an employee is performing a task right, innovating with success, or surpassing previous performance. Be sure to give feedback that specifies exactly what was good. Avoid generalizations such as, "You're doing a great job." They may not sound believable, and they don't really let an employee know what he or she is doing right. Negative feedback is also integral to molding or changing a group or individual's performance. Again, make sure that you are specific about the undesired action or behavior and avoid criticizing a person's personality traits. For example, John continually makes the same mistakes, although his peers and his boss have corrected his work several times. Instead of telling John that he is hard-headed or just not getting it, his boss continues to tell him the exact nature of the mistake and gives him a cheat-sheet to use when performing the task in the future. The cheat-sheet is an example of the other half of negative feedback. The feedback alone will tell a group member he or she has done something wrong. To correct that behavior, however, you must also explain how to fix the problem or teach the employee how to perform correctly. Tip You may also want to solicit feedback from your group members. This will help in promoting a teamwork atmosphere and let employees know that you value their opinions. You should also draw a clear line between formal and informal feedback. Formal feedback is in the form of written yearly reviews that gauge an employee's performance and are tied to raises and promotions. Informal feedback most often takes the form of oral comments--for example, telling an employee he did a great job on a specific task and how. You should try to give both positive and negative informal feedback often to keep your employees working in the desired manner. Rewards Rewards for desired performance can take many forms. Along with feedback, rewards are how you let an employee know he or she has done something right.