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Sarah Samy Amin Ellaboudy

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Feedback, is it still an effective tool for development?

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It has always been important for both employee and supervisor to communicate and provide a clear image about how things were going regarding the employee’s past performance. Also, the supervisor might also need to see how things were perceived according to the employee’s perspective. However, the employee might see the performance appraisal meeting as a nightmare; once called for this meeting, he/she is getting nervous. This is how the scenario goes in the performance review meeting in probably the best scenario, the manager requests a meeting with the employee for performance review, the manager tries to engage the employee in the meeting by asking questions e.g.: How do you perceive your previous performance? What goals have you accomplished? What goals did you have problems accomplishing?..etc.

 

The question is, is feedback still an effective tool for employee development? Does the feedback have a true long term effect or would its effect last if it actually did for a short term only?

Practice of feedback has been perceived by many supervisors as shedding the light on the employee’s past performance, the goals he accomplished and the goals he didn’t. Maybe by this way, you will have an employee who is focusing on goals but, has no sight of organization’s goals and probably not even the team goals and as a result, you will have an employee with low engagement considering, organization perspective. The employee might relate as well the feedback tool to reward or punishment which definitely drifts it away from being a developmental tool. Therefore; feedback turns to be static, focuses on the past, can be limited and may disregard the future opportunities.

Marshall Goldsmith has perceived that feedback is a practice from the past that needs to be developed; he introduced feedforward instead of feedback that focuses on keeping things positive, focusing on positive future change in behavior; changing static to dynamic and short term effect to long term effect.

How can we make the meeting more effective?

First, you need to forget the past, keep things positive and focus on making the future behaviors more effective; let them decide the behaviors they need to change and suggest how to achieve them and focus on how this change can positively impact their lives on a wide scope. Try not to be judgmental and avoid negative critique. Also, thank them for the suggestions they present with a conclusion of how both sides would commit to achieving the developmental plan. On the other hand, enforce the positive behavior by demonstrating it and its positive impact on the personal level, individual work, team and the organization and thanking him/her as well for it.

The article doesn’t seek abandoning the performance appraisal or feedback; the goal is to make the communication more effective and efficient between the supervisor and the subordinate as well as across the whole organization. Also, changing results starts by changing behavior and starts with the way things are perceived. Definitely you can not change the past, but you can still be able to change the future. It’s important to have the performance aligned with the organization’s goals, and to achieve this; the employee needs to understand how his/her performance and thus, behavior can positively impact; the organization, its goals and vision. That’s how you can have an engaged employee who would consider himself/herself a partner for achieving the organization’s goals instead of just being task focused and eventually a higher sustainable results for the organization.

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After Sarah had accomplished her University degree in Economics at Cairo University in 2008, she discovered her passion towards training where she could positively impact. She worked as an English Instructor at Berlitz for 5 years along with providing various soft skills and other workshops to students as well where she believed she would add value through her scope of work. Then, she decided to direct her passion towards Human Resources so she started her studies in this field and completed her Human Resources Management certificate in American University, Cairo.


In 2014, she started working in Training and Organization Development department where she started to utilize the analytical skills she learned from her study in Economics in addition to the experience and skills she developed by working as a trainer and finally the Human Resources educational background.


Through her work in MSA University, Sarah supervised Career Placement students in organizing successful Employment Fairs from 2014 till 2016. She was proud to help the students further develop their potentials and give them a chance to sprout in addition to other tasks including; conducting Competency-based interviews and working in Alumni recruitment services.


Also, she created the Leadership Competency model for the University which was used in the Talent Management Program she launched in 2016. The program’s purpose was identifying a pool of talents who would be future potential leaders. Through the selection process, candidates were subject to assessments she created including; psychometric tests, interviews, case study, role plays and project.

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Guest Friday, 23 February 2018

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