15 Ways to Give Effective & Constructive Employee Feedback

15 Ways to Give Effective & Constructive Employee Feedback

Constructive feedback to your employees should not only correct them but also encourage and support them. Feedback is powerful and if offered properly can be beneficial.

Through the feedback you give, you can help your workers grow and develop, you can improve their trust in you, enhance communications, and build stronger bonds between you and your workers.

As a leader, you should understand the difference between constructive and negative criticism. In this post, I will share ways you can give constructive and effective feedback to your workers without demotivating them.

Don’t Give Uninvited Feedback

Few people believe that the feedback they get is helpful to them. This is the kind of feedback they get without requesting. Unsought feedback can be stressful to the receiver.

Rather, if your report doesn’t ask for feedback, ensure you ask your workers how and when they would like to get feedback. This way, you give them control and increase their chances of acting on the feedback you give them. Giving them control over feedback empowers your workers to be positive and comfortable in asking for it.

Be Concrete

The feedback you give to your employees should contain solutions, be clear, and be direct to the point. Corrective feedback should not contain general comments that can leave a worker confused on what to correct. For example, a comment like “You have to do better than that” or “You need to improve”. Ensure you are specific on what you want the worker to do and maybe offer guidance. For example, “Complete your tasks on time”.

Show Empathy in Your Feedback

In giving feedback that shows a gap in knowledge to a worker, express extra consideration. Revealing a knowledge gap can evoke strong emotions that can confuse. Ensure you show empathy in the conversation you hold with that person. Since your feedback might shock them, prepare to give them space to feel the shock before even approaching them. The message you deliver should not be interpreted as reinforced hostility.

Feedback on Events to be Immediate

Following an event, immediate employee feedback has a great impact on performance. Issues that are left unaddressed may multiply. Raising an issue on the quarterly review of performance can raise other issues that could have been avoided by solving them earlier.

Another thing about saving feedback for performance review is that the problem can be forgotten and time will have passed. Feedback should be daily or weekly to help you avoid bias. Weekly or daily feedback reviews recent work and can be aligned with a worker’s workflow. It makes tracking and analyzing employees’ work easier for everyone.

Keep Feedback Private

Some people don’t like being the center of attention in anything. Some even prefer to receive praise privately. If your feedback is criticizing a worker, don’t do it publicly. Such kind of feedback can even be offered in form of a written response.

Written feedback gives you time to reflect and give a thoughtful response. Some feedback can be uncomfortable not to just the receiver but also the giver. In that case, you can consider moving it to an informal location to help ease the pressure.

Focus on Performance, not Personality

Feedback should focus on the behavior of an employee rather than personality traits. Behavior is about what someone has done whereas personality is about what they are like. Focusing on performance or behavior is the secret to giving constructive criticism. This is the best way you should approach feedback to impact a change in behavior or improvement in performance. However, poking someone’s character is not conducive to improvement.

Make the Conversation Two-Way

When giving feedback, don’t lecture someone on how they should improve. It is not effective, it can be like talking to an object. Feedback is about sensitive topics so remember to show respect when discussing them. Talking to someone is less effective compared to opening up a conversation and talking with them. Allow the person you are giving feedback to respond to the feedback and ask questions for clarity. Having clarity on an issue helps the two of you work on a solution or the suitable action to take together.

Include Solutions

The feedback you give to a worker should be a caring action. You give feedback to improve behavior and show a positive direction. In the conversation you have with your worker, focus on giving solutions. Negative criticism can be frustrating and can raise negative emotions.

On the behavior you want to correct about someone, you can give suggestions that a person can choose from to change. By doing so, a person feels considered and takes the feedback positively hence accepting to change. Including solutions in your feedback makes it effective.

Be Kind and Professional in Your Feedback

Every worker needs and gains from positive criticism. But how you deliver feedback to a worker should be considered before addressing them. You should check your facial expression and your tone of voice. Give feedback only when you’re calm and fixed your feelings on a person or an issue.

How you deliver feedback is a major determinant of whether a worker takes it constructively or not. Being kind and professional makes your feedback effective. Also, ensure your employees understand that you are accessible if they have any questions.

Induce Positive Energy

Criticism if given and received properly, it becomes constructive and effective. Constructive criticism triggers positive change if it produces positive energy. When you criticize negatively, you produce negative energy that could make your worker unhappy. Before you give feedback, first ensure you bring out a positive side. Allow positive energy to enter and then share your feedback. With positive energy, you impact change on your workers.

Point Observable Behaviors

The feedback you deliver to your workers should be on observable behaviors. Don’t give feedback that is based on emotions, assumptions, or perceptions. Feedback on an untrue or unseen behavior can raise trust issues and negative emotions.

As a manager, the feedback you give should come from something that you saw or heard a person did. The feedback you give to someone raises positive or negative emotions. But if you base your feedback on facts, it reduces the emotionality of exchanging feedback.

Prepare the Receiver

Before you give feedback, frame what the outcome of the feedback might be in your mind. This helps you know how you will prepare the recipient for what you are about to tell them. For example, if the feedback might raise difficult emotions you can tell the recipient something like, “I need to tell you something unpleasant”.

Your Feedback to be Reasonable

You should think about the reason you feel you want to give feedback. Your main reason to give feedback should be to help a worker improve their performance. Understanding your reasons helps you approach feedback from a point of how to communicate the feedback effectively. To add, it enables you to create a conversation and use facts to avoid raising negative emotions. A good intention brings out a positive outcome.

Describe Impact of Behavior

For criticism to be constructive, you have to describe the impact of specific negative behavior on you and others. For instance, you can tell your worker that submitting a task late led to postponing the team meeting. Not to hurt their feelings, you can tell them to let you know they will be late so you plan properly. You describe the impact of behavior and give an appropriate action for a worker to take.

Show Respect and Be Unbiased

Your worker is a person with dignity. Showing them dignity when giving them feedback makes your criticism constructive. Choose carefully the words that you use on someone. Acknowledge that you noticed their behavior and that you are concerned about them. Finally, remember to keep your emotions out of your feedback.            

Constructive Employee Feedback

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Constructive Employee Feedback

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Constructive Employee Feedback

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Constructive Employee Feedback

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Constructive Employee Feedback