One of the first things to go when a newsroom shrinks is regular feedback. Everyone has more work to do, including managers, and there just doesn’t seem to be time to give employees feedback on their work. In many cases, what happens instead is an APOP review–an “annual piece of paper” that spells out how the boss thinks you’re doing and often winds up generating more resentment than improvement.
Timely and specific feedback, on the other hand, helps employees understand what’s working and what need work, sets standards and goals, and raises quality across the board. Sure, it takes time. But it’s time well spent. As former news manager Kevin Benz puts it: “We make our jobs easier by making our people better.”
This chapter on conducting feedback and evaluations is taken from my book, Ready, Set, Lead! The Resource Guide for News Managers. It was published in 2005 by the Radio Television News Directors Foundation and is now out of print. The digital files appear to have disappeared, as well, so I’ll upload the rest of the chapters in PDF format as time permits.
Feedback image via Shutterstock