Definition of Performance Feedback

Written by franki colbert
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Definition of Performance Feedback
Employees (Three office workers image by Vladimir Melnik from Fotolia.com)

Performance feedback enables companies to assess the performance of employees. There exist different forms of feedback. Companies can either implement internal feedback measures or hire an external consulting company to gather and analyse the performance feedback. Companies can collect formal and informal feedback. Peers, managers and external customers can provide feedback on employees. Direct reports can also provide feedback on their managers to determine the managers' effectiveness and overall management skill level.

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Purpose

Performance feedback helps with the productivity of the workplace. Feedback enables employees to understand the company's expectations of them. It also identifies development areas the employee needs to work on to improve their performance. With this information, employees have the information necessary to improve their job performance and stay motivated.

Process

When gathering performance feedback, companies should coach the evaluators providing the feedback. They will need to ensure that the feedback they provide contains accurate details related specifically to the employee's job performance. They should understand to omit any personal views or observations not associated with the employee's job. Organizations should make a point to provide feedback on a regular basis and often. This helps the employee to understand the issue and rectify any problems as soon as possible.

Formal Feedback

The timeline on gathering performance feedback varies among companies. Formal feedback gathering sessions can take place on a monthly, quarterly or annual review cycle. The company determines the timeline according to its performance management plans. When a formal feedback session takes place, evaluators document the outcome of the session. After completion, the documentation goes into the employee's personnel file.

Informal Feedback

Informal feedback often consists of conversations between the evaluator and the employee. These sessions occur on a more regular basis than formal feedback sessions. Peers can provide informal feedback in the form of peer rewards or a verbal acknowledgment. This form of feedback gives the employee an immediate sense of job performance and can help with employee motivation and accountability.

Measuring Feedback

To disseminate performance feedback to the executive team, the feedback data undergoes a measurement process. Since feedback can exist formally and informally, the company determines what types of feedback to include in reports and analysis. For example, a company may choose to exclude peer reviews from feedback analysis reports. Measuring feedback offers a clear snapshot of the behaviour within the company and gaps in the performance of the entire workforce. This information helps during strategic planning and workforce management activities.

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