Daily Productive Sharing 146 - How to Give Feedback Equally?

One helpful tip per day:)

(The English version follows)



今天的分享是关于女性在职场的晋升的研究。这项由斯坦福 VMware Women’s Leadership Innovation Lab 主导的研究分析了职场评价对于晋升的影响:收到越是具体的评价,我们就越有可能改进,从而进一步成长,从而越有可能晋升。针对这一结论,研究者也给出了具体的执行建议给管理者:

  1. 在给建议前,先设置好通用的标准;
  2. 将这些标准和商业成果绑定,这样下属更容易贯彻执行;
  3. 根据制定好的通用标准,给同一级别下属建议,尽量一碗水端平。



Research: Vague Feedback Is Holding Women Back

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Today is International Women's Day, so first of all, happy holidays to all our female readers!

Today's share is a study on women's advancement in the workplace. The study, led by the Stanford VMware Women's Leadership Innovation Lab, analyses the impact of workplace evaluations on promotions: the more specific the evaluation received, the more likely we are to improve and thus grow further, and thus the more likely we are to be promoted. In response to this finding, the researcher also gives specific recommendations for managers to implement.

  1. set general criteria before giving advice.
  2. tie these standards to business results so that subordinates are more likely to follow through.
  3. give advice to subordinates at the same level according to the above criteria, and try to be even-handed.

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Research: Vague Feedback Is Holding Women Back

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Although companies have invested heavily in programs to advance women leaders, the number of women in executive roles has not changed significantly in the last decade.

Our research shows that women are systematically less likely to receive specific feedback tied to outcomes, both when they receive praise and when the feedback is developmental.

The vague feedback lets women know they are generally doing a good job, but it does not identify which specific actions are valued or the positive impact of their accomplishments.

We also learned that vague feedback is correlated with lower performance review ratings for women — but not for men.

Further, when women received specific developmental feedback, it tended to be overly focused on their communication style.

In contrast, men were more likely to receive insightful developmental feedback about their technical skills.

Without specific, documented business accomplishments, it is difficult for a manager to make the case for advancement.

Conversely, if a business objective was missed, a lack of frank feedback deprives women of the opportunity to hit the mark next time.

Missed opportunities to develop critical skills may also lead to women being “tracked” into support functions, which are stereotypically female and do not lead to C-level roles or to board seats.

The good news is that investing in better feedback can have dramatic results.

Before you begin evaluations, either written or verbal, outline the specific criteria you are employing to evaluate individuals.

Use the same criteria for all employees at this level.

Systematically tie feedback — either positive or developmental — to business and goals outcomes.

Strive to write reviews of similar lengths for all employees. This helps ensure a similar level of detail — and therefore of specifics — for everyone.

These small wins, or what we call micro-sponsorship actions, offer pathways to equal access to leadership.