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Feedback is Good Against Zombies

FeedbackI know people who basically show up at the office and get feedback from their superior once in a great while.  When they do get feedback, it’s usually negative because they are not doing what the boss wants.  People, you can’t expect your team to operate in a vacuum.  Don’t let an annual review be the only time you talk to your team and rate performance.  If you do rate performance regularly and provide feedback, there will be countless opportunities for improvement.  There should be a constant exchange between managers and subordinates.  As a manager, you should be constantly asking people if they have everything they need.  Ask them how you can help them do their job better.

We all know that only zombies come programmed to know exactly what to do.  They eat brains.  That’s what they do.  They don’t need to read a how-to-be-a-zombie handbook, provided by management, to find out what is expected of them.  They already know!  You can’t say the same for non-zombies.  Give your people feedback and do it often.

Bob, you’re doing a good job nailing that plywood over the windows.  Now, don’t forget to cover that cat door.  We don’t want any midget zombies getting in here.

See, that wasn’t so bad, was it?  If you had waited until Bob’s next annual review, you’d be overrun by midget zombies within a day.  That would be a clear failure of leadership.  You should feel obligated to provide continual feedback to your team and not become a zombie snack.

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About Derek Huether

I'm Vice President of ALM Platforms at LeadingAgile. Author of Zombie Project Management (available on Amazon). Novice angel investor.

2 Responses to “Feedback is Good Against Zombies”

  1. October 6, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    Great advice and poignantly communicated.

    What about doing away with performance reviews entirely? While they have their merits, they often do more harm than good. One problem is that they allow managers to procrastinate, “I’ll just discuss this with Sally during her review”.

    Also, instead of the “constant exchange” being between “managers and subordinates” viewing it as an exchange between people committed to a common goal could be more effective.

    Thanks again for the effectively made point.

    • Anonymous
      October 7, 2010 at 1:32 am

      Rick, thanks for positive feedback!
      Yes, I would be one who would do away with the annual review. I can’t remember the specifics about a situation from 11 months ago. What if that was the shining “hour” for someone? When the only communications is annual, I’ve rarely seen it go well. There should be a “formal” exchange on a regular basis but there should be even more informal exchanges. I want subordinates to meet my expectations. More importantly, I want to meet theirs.

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