Overcoming The Challenges of Feedback to Dramatically Enhance Performance

Navigating the intricacies of providing feedback remains a significant challenge for many store managers. At The Retail Solution, we specialise in training feedback techniques that 99% of team members are receptive to, leading to tangible improvements in performance. In our experience, understanding why feedback poses such difficulty reveals three primary obstacles:

1. Lack of Training: Most managers are thrust into their roles without formal instruction on how to provide feedback. They either mimic their own manager’s approach or struggle to navigate a path between harshness and leniency.

2. Avoidance Tendencies: Many managers opt to sidestep feedback altogether, fearing confrontation or negative reactions from staff. However, this aversion only exacerbates issues, implicitly condoning incorrect behaviour and complicating future corrective actions.

3. Ignorance of Issues: A significant hurdle is managers who are oblivious to existing problems, leading to subpar customer service and operational inefficiencies. When managers fail to recognise deviations from standards, team members are left unsupported and also oblivious to how they need to improve.

Feedback serves as a fundamental human need, providing individuals with clarity on their performance and avenues for growth. While the emphasis should be on providing more positive feedback, your team also need to be made aware of areas they need to improve on. This approach fosters a sense of continuous improvement and personal development among the team.

To navigate feedback effectively, we train a structured approach:

1. Identify Specific Behaviours: Focus feedback on observable behaviours rather than personality.

2. Encourage Self-Reflection: Prompt the team member to identify solutions to improve performance, fostering ownership and commitment.

3. Reinforce Importance: Engage the team in discussions on why tasks or behaviours matter, reinforcing their significance.

4. Seek Agreement: Confirm the team members willingness to implement corrective actions.

5. Acknowledge Progress: Immediately acknowledge and praise correct behaviour, reinforcing positive outcomes.

By adhering to these steps, managers can markedly enhance their feedback effectiveness, fostering a culture of openness and continuous improvement among their teams. Ultimately, this leads to heightened performance and improved operational outcomes—a win-win scenario for all involved.

Roger Simpson – CEO, The Retail Solution and Author of “The Ultimate Retail Sales Experience” With over 35 years’ industry experience, Roger Simpson is recognized as Australia’s #1 Authority on customer ROI in the retail industry and as a global expert on staff coaching, customer service, and selling skills.