Feedback sessions, may they be with colleagues or management, are vital to creating a workplace environment that promotes personal and professional improvement, development as well as healthy communication. While many companies still choose to give their employees impersonal and at times nondescript yearly performance reviews, more and more companies are opting for giving their employees real-time feedback. Annual reviews are many times inefficient and outdated, something we will delve into in later posts. This movement away from less frequent, less personal yearly performance assessments is not new, however, as performance management has been experiencing a transformation in recent years. If you, as a manager or an employee have chosen to make the switch toward conducting a real-time feedback session with a colleague, there are several things you should have in mind in order to get the most out of this  dynamic, personal and overall efficient way of conducting feedback sessions:

1. Frequency:

Frequent feedback is truly the key to better productivity and motivation in the workplace. While there is a common saying that claims that quality is always more important than quantity, this isn’t always the case when discussing corporate feedback. While it is paramount to ensure that feedback sessions are as organized and efficient as possible, this dated idea that one single yearly performance review is all that’s necessary for companies to assess the results of its employees simply doesn’t ring true anymore. With social media, texting, and emails, the modern employee craves communication. Frequent engagement from management with its employees is key for maintaining a healthy, active, and productive relationship between employees and their superiors. Furthermore, it ensures that mistakes employees have committed are tended to and corrected as soon as possible. Avoid waiting more than a month between feedback sessions, for this large amount of time can slowly deteriorate the channels of communication necessary for maintaining active dialogue with the employee and keeping them motivated. Aim for giving feedback at least once a month. This goes against the archaic idea of simply giving an annual performance review

2. Preparation:

Another key aspect of a great feedback session that you should have in mind is that, when the time comes to have a real-time feedback session, you should come prepared. Since real-time feedback allows for the users to communicate directly and more frequently, it is important to have a clear idea of what you wish to communicate. Take a few notes regarding the main point of the feedback session to guide you through the process and to increase your confidence coming into the feedback session. This will make sure that the goal of the session is not circumvented or forgotten, something which often happens when people go unprepared into a feedback session. In this list look to include all the feedback you want to give and request, may they be positive or constructive. And, as we have mentioned, it is important to be specific when giving this type of feedback. Much like everything else in your job, real-time feedback sessions require preparation and foresight.

3. Consider video feedback:

Fortunately, recent developments in technology have made it easier and more convenient than ever to perform effective feedback sessions at the workplace. Applications like FeedYak are useful tools to organize video feedback that is given by the user in order to improve workplace communication. FeedYak simplifies the process of giving, recording and organizing video feedback in a useful module that you can download on your smart devices. Furthermore, you can request feedback from specific members of the team which allows you to maintain an active and dynamic channel of communication in the workplace.