Monthly Archives: July 2009
This is a guest post by Clayton Blackham, partner at Snapp Conner PR. I first met Clay while I was at Sharp Analytics. He crafted a PR strategy that helped us gain great momentum in the market – momentum that I believe helped us sell our business to iCrossing.
Your company might be small or fledgling. Thereâ€™s a good chance that you wear a lot of hats, that time is of the essence and you often move at a break-neck speed and expect your employees to do the same. I work in an public relations. Probably not unlike the industry you work in, it is not uncommon for me to be required to make decisions at a momentâ€™s notice and get results. And of course, I am judged by those results.
Over the course of the last few months weâ€™ve felt an increase in the pressure to “move the needle” for our clients. They are paying the same as or less than they were paying before the downturn, but they are demanding twice as much work. Weâ€™re OK with that because we all need to get through this recession.
With that preface out of the way I can focus on the real reason for the post: feedback.
Despite having to run a million miles per hour, what Iâ€™ve seen with friendsâ€™ companies, clients and even our own company is that there seems to be ample time for meetings that really donâ€™t change the bottom line. But when it comes to giving feedback and teaching people how to do the job right, no one wants to touch it. Typically, the person asking us to do the work looks at it, makes a couple of changes and tells us it looks good. They approve the work and move on.
The problem with this approach is that nothing is learned and the same mistakes or the same quality of work will be produced over and over again. By not providing feedback, you are doing your employees or vendors a real disservice. It’s true that talking to people about what’s wrong with their work isn’t fun and it isn’t always well received, but it’s critical.
I can think of dozens of cases where I was given feedback on how to do something right after not doing it the way they expected. I hate to think of the hours lost in productivity â€“ not to mention the frustration on the bossâ€™ part â€“ because two people had to do the job one person could do was significant until feedback was given. It usually only takes one time telling someone how to do it and thatâ€™s the end of the story.
Next time someone gives you something instead of saying, â€œIt looks good, but made a change or two.â€ explain the change and why you made it. Itâ€™ll make your life easier next time around and strengthen your company.