Positive Feedback: A Focus
Over the years, if there is one factor that everyone dislikes in their work is – “feedback”. This could be in the form of comments given by your peers on your work, weekly brainstorming meetings, client remarks etc. Though negative feedback is hard to digest, the need for positive feedback is causing imbalance in the careers of Technical Writers. I understand that there are different levels of professionals reading this mail, but it is the responsibility on each of us to see that the young generation is satisfied by their effort to keep the writing profession alive. In my experience, I have come across different types of individuals who had various factors to complain, which were causing hindrance in their professional ladder. Some of them complained about lack of technical knowledge, while some of them could not get along well with their managers due to internal politics and few others had inferiority complex.
As peers, it is easy to give judgment as you have the authority but none of us step into the shoes of the person in the receiving end. Ultimately, if a person is afraid to convey his problems to his superior, the project or a company as a whole is the sufferer. I have seen that people generally conduct team meetings to discuss the work related issues and point out the mistakes conducted by each of the team members and are asked to correct them with several warnings. Though this is a conventional step, the current generation dislike themselves to be degraded before the team, which ultimately affects their throughput.
Positive feedback is very much essential to induce will power in your team members, though at the backend they may be lacking several key skills. For example, if your inexperienced team member has written a document of 20 pages with nearly 5 to 6 errors in each page, you may feel uncomfortable to edit the document as a peer and may end up giving extra large comments or sending repetitive emails to mend their approach. I feel that this approach is not at all recommendable as you have not identified the root cause for your subordinate’s failure. This will not improve over the time and becomes a repetitive process throughout your tenure in the organization.
Conduct a one-one meeting to discuss any specific issues. In such meeting allow the person to talk to the maximum extent rather than you being the speaker. This will help them to speak clearly on their problems.
Assure that their job is secure and as peers you are there to motivate their approach.
In team meetings encourage each of your subordinate’s work rather than finding faults.
Introduce team building activities related to work so as to involve all the team members and detect their commitment levels.
Give weekend assignments and announce rewards for the best work.
Conduct workshops on latest technologies and tools and indulge the team members to participate.
Impart the importance of the forums like TWIN and encourage them to contribute their thoughts.
These methods not only improve the self confidence but also develop significant inter-personal relationships between team members and superiors. It also helps in reducing the attrition rate. After all, one should understand that everyone has passed the stages of leaps and bounce in their earlier years to become an expert in this field. Hence, as seniors we better understand the feelings of our juniors and give them a chance to learn from their errors before taking drastic decisions.