As a project manager, it is your responsibility to monitor the performance of your team to ensure that everyone is on track, and so play an active role in helping the team to achieve their overall goals. To do this, it is important to give project feedback. However, the way in which you give feedback is of critical importance. As you know communication can make or break a project. Not only do you need to give feedback when something is going wrong, but positive feedback is just as important too. With that in mind, let’s look at some tips on how to give feedback to your project team.
Set expectations early
If you do not set expectations early, you will only make life more difficult for yourself when you come to giving feedback later down the line. When a team operates cohesively and effectively, it is because all of the members have the same mindset, and they are clear about their roles and their objectives. This is why it is important to outline at the offset how workers are going to hold each other accountable and how they are going to work together. Make sure measures are in place if someone is going to miss a deadline, for example. This will create a clear working structure, and make it easier for you to give project feedback in the future.
Don’t focus on failures and mistakes
If you are harsh, and focus only on the failure of someone, it can cause them to become resentful and de-motivated. You need to be careful how you approach errors. Always assume that you team members have meant well. Focus on how to move forward, instead of dwelling on what has happened. Encourage your team to take steps in the right direction.
Ensure you check-in with the team frequently
Do not make the mistake of starting off the project with little structure, and then attempting to implement it when it is too late. Instead, if you have regular check-ins in the beginning, you can give project feedback and ensure the project is on track. Your team members will come to expect this, rather than feeling like you are just giving them a hard time whenever something goes wrong in the future. It is all about being proactive.
Conduct structured reviews
As time passes, it will become necessary to implement structured reviews. Don’t do this straight away; it won’t work. You need to put this phase into place once everyone is accustomed to working with one and other and sharing feedback. Once this occurs, you should then dive deeper into how each team member is performing. Encourage others to provide feedback about how others are doing. One approach is to get everyone to say one thing they appreciate about what a team member is doing, and one thing they wish they would do differently. This helps the individual to gain perspective regarding their performance.
Don’t let it get personal
Finally, focus on the problem, not the person. Finger pointing can destroy team morale, and it achieves nothing. If problems are occurring frequently then try to develop and improve the project management skills of your team rather than criticising mistakes.