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NEWS | Dec. 4, 2012

Timely and effective feedback, Stat

By Maseter Sgt. Don Simpson 779th Aeromedical Squadron

Performance feedback is an important requirement. Feedback outlines expectations, improves work performance and tells an Airman where he or she is at in the reporting period and contributes to positive communication.

I have heard Airmen too many times throughout my career say that they haven't received timely and effective feedback from their supervisor. This is unacceptable. We are failing our Airmen by not accomplishing this responsibility. There should be no excuse as to why Airmen aren't receiving timely and effective feedback.

With regards to timeliness, an initial feedback is required within the first 60 days of supervision. This is the ratee's only initial feedback unless a change of reporting official occurs. Midterm feedbacks are required halfway between the date supervision begins and the EPR closeout date. If the rater is to remain the same after EPR closeout, then a follow-up feedback is required within 60 days of EPR closeout to go over the EPR ratings and to establish expectations for the new reporting period. This guidance is in Air Force Instruction 36-2406, Officer and Enlisted Evaluation Systems. 

Additionally, Air Force form 910 states, the rater will provide face to face feedback to the ratee in conjunction with issuing the evaluation. The EPR serves as the feedbackform. Do not use a performance feedback worksheet. When face to face feedback is not feasible, rater will conduct feedback either electronically or via telephone. This feedback is not to be used as the last feedback accomplished as recorded in Section V of the evaluation form."

With regards to effectiveness, it all begins with standards. They must be specific, measurable and observable. The standards should leave no room for possible questions to arise. Raters should use the appropriate performance feedback worksheets. When conducting the session, it should be private and formal. Enough time should be allotted so everything can be communicated effectively to the ratee. If a ratee needs help in certain areas, recommendations should be provided to put the ratee on course to improve and sustain performance. If timely and effective feedbacks are done, there should be no questions or objections when an EPR comes down.

We all owe it to our Airmen to provide timely and effective feedback. Everyone is in control of their Area of Responsibility, AOR, no matter how small or large. If each supervisor is taking care of their respective AOR, all Airmen will be taken care of and we wouldn't hear any Airmen mention that they haven't received feedback.

Conducting timely and effective feedbacks for our Airmen will create a ripple effect, and they will in turn take care of their own Airmen once they become supervisors. Airmen need this. Everyone wants to know what is expected of them and where they are at in the eyes of the supervisor. Let's not fail our Airmen.