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How do you give feedback to someone who is actually killing it? Just, say keep up what you’re doing?

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To give feedback that is both helpful and supportive, especially if they are doing a great job, is to align with goals. Go through the company’s goals and have a discussion about what their personal goals are.

Someone can be “killing it” at their level and within their role, but are they doing the things that you are looking for to promote or place in a different position?
What do they want to accomplish in their career?
Is there a project they want to be a part of?
Is there something else that is driving them?
Is there a different idea they have for the company or department culture that is important to them?
Is there something they are doing, but they wish they were more fluent or confident in?
Where do they want to grow?

By finding out their goals for themselves vs your goals for them, you are able to give feedback to help them achieve their goals. If you are stuck as to the feedback to help them attain these, your feedback may to be to seek out a mentor or coach to support them, or a training program.

A good manager can organize people and resources to get the job done. A good leader is a manager that also coaches, inspires, and mentors others to their greatest potential. Start by asking them their goals. Truly understand their interests and where they want to be in 2-3 years. I do this and, in my feedback, give recommendations on networking across the practice to seek mentors in an area of interest (e.g. strategic cost reduction, M&A, change management, OTC, etc.), upskill in one of the top 3 tools or platforms used heavily in that area (e.g. Anaplan, SAP / Oracle, Workday Financials, etc.) Get to know the person. If they are as great as you say, they deserve this investment.

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Yea for sure!

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Since you’re not getting many serious replies, here’s what you should do for someone who is truly killing it:
1) Tell them they are killing it
2) Give very specific feedback about what exactly they are doing that makes them so great and why it matters
3) Ask them how they felt about their own performance and address any insecurities
4) Think hard about what they need to do to secure an early promotion. Tell them, and then help them achieve it

likesmarthelpfuluplifting

Nicely done EM1

“How to Win Friends & Influence People” by Carnegie Mellon preaches that you should continually praise people. This will drive insane amounts of productivity and performance.

likefunny

Lmao senior associate 1

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If they were actually killing it, they would be a senior partner already. There is always room to progress to next-level responsibilities.

likefunny

Sr partners don't seem to do much with respect to client service. They can't create slides, usually have less senior partners or directors manage the relationships, have no technical skills and are often leaning on very old talking points. They seem to be coasting and see that as their right after all the punishing work they did on their way up.

I'm guessing the Sr associate is actually killing it

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Show ‘em the money.

likesmarthelpful

Yes! Maybe mention a few strengths they've demonstrated and encourage them to keep at it. Honestly hearing appreciation/encouragement can be just as motivating and push someone to keep doing their best / improving as much as they can. Personally I think it's silly (or even annoying) when my counselor comes up with some BS comments on how I'm doing or what to improve, and I can tell they're reaching. I'm just as happy to hear I'm doing great vs. getting specific feedback and coaching if I don't need it. Just give it to me straight and leave it at that

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People like to be validated in specific terms. If they're killing it by making great presentations, say "the transitions between your slides were incredible". Something specific you actually noticed, that not just anyone would have managed to do. It shows their work is bringing them attention and making them look good, which is a better compliment than just your generic approval.

likesmart

Guys for reference, I’m only a consultant but I have check ins with an analyst who is new to consulting and is crushing it so far. Nothing to do with promotional timelines, compensation, or anything. I just try to help out because I’ve been in that position

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I was a consultant when I managed analysts (prior to working at Special K). Get to know them and their goals. Feedback doesn’t always have to be critical. Invite them to think through their career strategy and continue to upskill/grow in that direction. Extra points if you can make specific recommendations on top tools used in their area of interest or introduce them to someone on your network who is a leader in that space. If you can’t, then you need to start doing that for yourself ASAP.

Just promote them to next level then

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If they are killing it, the focus is less on closing gaps in their skills and more about keeping them engaged so you don't lose talent. If they are as good as you say, then they will be looking for roles with more $$$ and greater challenge. To that extent feedback should be more:
1. Growth opportunities to raise their profile,
2. Understanding their goals and what they need to do to get there; and
3. Setting targets which link to more $$$ and more senior roles.

Feedback should not be limited to negatives.

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Constructive, Actionable and consistent feedback is crucial imo. Theres always room for improvement even if that improvement is to move into more challenging environments/engagements/projects or expanding their role to include more responsibilities.

As someone who has generally been in the 'killing it' position, I have found the un-actionable "you're the best keep doing this" a bit frustrating from a growth perspective because it can force individuals to be stagnant rather than continuously improve.

Leaders do your best to find good actionable (how many times have I said that this post? Lol) feedback as it's one the best things you can do to help your team members grow.

likehelpful

I agree with this. As a leader, you owe it to them to come up with something they can use in an actionable way, even if it's minor.

When people on my Internal resource team are killing it.. I make sure to call them out by name to all the AVPs, VPs and C-Suites giving them the recognition they deserve in my leadership meetings. I’m just a contracted consultant so I have no direct influence in promotions or pay, so it is the best I can do.

likehelpful

Came here to say this!!! Does the top leadership in your account/ offering know about this person? You should be saying their name in rooms with higher level folks who can actually impact their pay/promotion. Also, bring them into more complex work like firm initiatives and proposal work where they can be exposed to others and flex those skills.

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Keep it up is cheap.
Concrete actions matter - bump in pay, bonus, promotions. Even recognition in the form of “dots” is a cheap diversion. Like who is looking for more coffee chats?

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What are dots?

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Tell them why they are being effective so they understand how to keep repeating the success. You will be surprised how often folks who do a great job don’t realize what made it go from good to great.

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Most consulting firms has a very detailed list of ALL the responsibilities both current and next level up. Spend time with person looking at the list to identify what they are not doing so they have stretch goals. As mentioned above, they are likely not “mastering” everything and can reach a new level they may not even know others do across the organization. This can often be best given from a more senior leader who has visibility of that the very top performers of the organization and maybe even give them opportunities to operate above their level.

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Tell them specifically what it is that you like that they’re doing. Ex: “when you did x, that was awesome and here is why and why it’s important” this should help guide them into learning your mindset and will help them become intuitive on what you want

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Praise them publicly! Make sure the partners and SM know about this person and how well they’re doing. Tell their coach. This is how you can become a ‘sponsor’ not just a people manager. Bring them into interesting opportunities you encounter (like proposals and firm initiatives). Have them flex those skills in front of people who can influence their careers.

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Send them a applause award thing or whatever they are called. It’s free for you to do.

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Choose to invest additional time in their career. Feedback words are less meaningful than feedback actions (and money!).

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Share with them the impact they are making. Sometimes people don't understand the true impact their work is making and leaders know that very well

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