5 tips for providing feedback to your remote workforce

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The value of delivering feedback to an individual, team or department within a company can never be underestimated. It is with this guidance that employees can develop and improve upon the job in hand or feel the rewards of receiving all-important praise.

For those within the senior management team, providing feedback to your workforce is still just as important, if not more so, when working from home, and in a variety of different geographical locations. Our tips will help you to pinpoint and deliver feedback in an effective manner to your remote workforce.

Choose video over email

It’s important to deliver feedback over a video call, rather than through an email, particularly if you are delivering negative or constructive comments. Selecting an appropriate method of communication here is key and using video conferencing software allows you to see body language, facial expressions and respond and react to the conversation in real-time.

As such, choosing video over email restores some a personal touch to conversations that may have the habit of being robotic.

Consider employee wellbeing

Employers should also take into account providing an extra layer of consideration to employee wellbeing when having conversations virtually. If you have delivered constructive feedback or something particularly difficult to an employee, and you are not sure how they have reacted, then it may be worthwhile to check back in with them later on or the next day.

As there isn’t that physical proximity to tell how someone has reacted, it is important to be aware of how your team are managing.

Focus on consistency

Being consistent, especially in a time of uncertainty, is imperative. When providing feedback (of any kind), you should ensure it is received with context, purpose, an analysis of next steps and an aspect of reassurance. Explaining your reasons clearly reduces ambiguity and ensures that lessons are taken on board for the future.

In this way, being consistent and mirroring the same process that would be carried out face to face should be a core focus.

Invite responses and dialogue

A significant element of the feedback process is in opening up the conversation and allowing responses and thoughts to be shared. Ensuring that your team feel listened to, valued and understood is of extreme importance.

Once you have provided feedback to a member of the team, you should ask them for any thoughts or ideas for development, also offering the opportunity for a follow-up meeting to discuss any ongoing changes to their development.

Share the good news far and wide

Although there will inevitably be times when, as a senior figure within the business, you must deliver constructive or negative feedback, it is also important to share the good news too. By letting your entire team know when there have been successes and positive news, you will engage your workforce and keep them connected. This is especially important when working from home places this under strain.

However, taking the correct approach of leading with "we're so proud of," or "it's so humbling to see" will ensure that individuals remain warmed to you. It is really important to share the good news far and wide; after all, people need hope, motivation and a reminder that, amidst the doom and gloom dominating the airwaves, there is still some good happening.

Above all, it is important to maintain some positivity even when delivering difficult feedback. Recognising that there is always opportunity, and the chance to develop and improve upon skills, should always be at the fore of these conversations.

If you are looking to make a new hire during this time, or if you are looking for a new opportunity and would like to discuss this in any more detail, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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