Tips on how to give constructive feedback


Constructive feedback is a must in any workplace. Employees need to know they are doing a good job at work for the employer. They also need to know where they might improve at work and do a better job. Giving useful feedback is essential but it can also be tricky. Employers need to manage several competing goals when they are providing such help. They want to make sure that the employee understands what they are doing right and where they might do a better job. Any employer should know how to provide the help employees need in order to make the most of their time at work. Keeping it brief, accurate, positive and focused on the situation at work allows employees the structure they need to strive to be their best.

Keep it Concise

One of the most important things that all employers should know when providing feedback is keeping it concise and to the point. An employee should be able to understand the language the employee is using. It’s important to funnel out extraneous details. A five page report can be confusing and may not make it clear what the employer ultimately wants from the worker. The language used should be about the employee’s work habits and nothing else. Avoid using words that may not get to the point like however as this can obfuscate the message being given.

Make it Accurate

Accuracy is also essential when it comes providing useful feedback that helps the employee do better at their job. It’s a good idea to think about exactly what the employee has done for the employer has done when on the job. An employer should be conscious of what has been accomplished. Have a close look at the employee’s record. For example, if they have missed a few days of work or were late to the job, note this fact. Avoid vague language. Do not state the employee was late some of the time. State they were late six days during the quarter. It’s also important to note any mitigating circumstances. An employee may have been late because of an unexpected snowstorm that rendered local roads hard to maneuver and affected many other employees at the same time.

Provide Positive Commentary

Employees are more likely to listen to any kind of feedback when their positive contributions are acknowledged during the feedback process. Feedback that illustrates company officials appreciate their hard work are a useful way to show employees are valued. An employer should note the employee has been on time every single day. They might also want to note the employee’s efforts at self improvement when not on the job such as the fact that the employee is taking night classes in a subject related to work. The employer should be aware of such efforts and ready to demonstrate they know what the employee is doing to help the company function and grow further.

Situation Focused

All feedback should also be totally focused on the situation the employee faces at work each day. Avoid language that might call attention to unimportant details like the employee’s choice of shoes unless that is relevant to a work dress code. The feedback should be a situation as it pertains to the work. Do not attack the person personally in any way. An employee who feels such criticism is likely to avoid listening to the employer’s message and even seek employment elsewhere.

Allow For Improvement

Above all, if possible, allow for improvement when giving any kind of feedback. An employee should understand how they can remedy any problems that might exist with their performance. If possible, list a series of concrete actions that can be taken in order for the employee to do better at work. If the feedback is largely positive, it can also be helpful for an employee to know what steps they might be able to take if they wish a promotion at work. Feedback can be used to help identify employees that have leadership qualities. An employee can be told what they can do at work in order to assume that leadership position and watch their career grow.


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