Hi folks

I recently discovered Manager Tools - love it! I have a question about how to apply the feedback model in my situation. I listened to the "Managing in a Matrix" podcast but it didn't really address my question.

My organization is a matrix - we're organized into disciplines (project management, technology, user experience etc) and then each project's team is made up of people from across the various disciplines.

I'm a manager within one of the disciplines. I have four directs and I'm responsible for their overall performance, compensation, delivering annual reviews etc. Sometimes I work on the same project as one of my directs, but more common is that I will only really see my directs during O3's or our weekly team meeting.

My understanding of feedback is that it's most effective if the feedback is delivered directly, as soon as possible after I observe a particular behavior. The trouble is, the amount of contact that I have with my directs is relatively minimal, and so I have relatively few opportunities to observe them.

Do you have any advice or suggestions on how I can deliver feedback when working in an organization like this? How can I help my directs improve their performance?


JoeFuture's picture

A few thoughts.

First, on getting useful feedback about your employees - In these environments, I've found it useful to partner closely with other people who work with your directs to get 3rd party feedback. It's helpful to get a read on how other people perceive your employees. This also lets you cross-reference what you've observed personally with what they tell you.

Second, on delivering feedback - While timely feedback is best, feedback once a week is still better than no feedback at all (which is what most employees end up with). Just do your best to make sure it's effective every time so you don't waste the limited face time you have.

Be careful not to get into he said/she said situations. When you can't observe your directs directly, it's especially important to pay attention to their results (the concrete non-negotiable deliverables that tell you if they're doing their job) and how other team members perceive them and work with them.