We all know the drill. The team product manager rents a room at a local hotel for an off-site meeting to improve team dynamics. Everyone shows up, meetings are held, then everyone goes back to work energized and productive.
Yeah, not really.
The shotgun-blast approach to morale-building doesn't work in most cases because teams need continuous feedback in order to thrive. Wea''re talking about daily, sometimes hourly feedback during a development cycle, not at the end of it (or worse yet, during an end of the year review). Designers and engineers thrive when feedback is timely, specific, and articulate. Make it also digestible and actionable, and you've got the perfect formula to grow a confident and effective team.
Giving feedback to employees is never easy, but it's necessary. Learn to be strong and confident with the feedback you provide workers, but stay open to the feedback they provide you as well. Employees need to own their work so a bit of healthy pushback is good. Also, make sure to give a good balance of positive and negative feedback. Too much praise won't help anyone improve their work, and too much negative feedback is discouraging. Find that sweet spot between the two.
Contrary to what some may think, young designers and engineers in today's workforce actually like regular and consistent feedback. Letting workers know how they're doing gives them a chance to keep doing the right things right and correct what needs to be fixed before bad work habits become ingrained for good.