5 Tips on How to Provide Constructive Feedback at Work

We hire employees to have people to help us operate our business. However, it’s also our responsibility to help them grow and reach their full potential. No one enters a job with complete knowledge and experience of the work that needs to be done. It’s up to us to teach them these things for their own development and the company’s success. We can do this by conducting training and providing constructive feedback.

Feedback aims to give pointers and suggestions that will help improve the employees’ performance. It can also instill confidence and renew their dedication on the job. However, not all feedback can be about positive points and praise. There are also times when issues arise. When it comes to giving negative feedback, some may choose to hold back while thinking of a way to deliver it. Unfortunately, when we delay these things, there’s a chance that they will become much bigger problems in the long run.

If you’re struggling with how to provide constructive feedback, here are some tips that can help you:

1. State your concerns clearly

Just like with positive feedback, it’s important to be specific with constructive criticism. Vague feedback can cause confusion and stress - not only for the employee but for you, too. If you tell them that their work needs improvement, specify the areas they need to work on. Do you want them to accomplish their tasks in a shorter amount of time? Or do you want them to add more details into their workflow to make it smoother?

Whatever it is that you want to be changed or improved, state it clearly. This will make the employee more aware of what’s wrong. They will also act quicker as they know where they should start. Not only will you get results faster, you’ll also be more likely to get the outcome that you hope for.

2. Focus on the situation

This is probably one of the most challenging aspects of providing constructive feedback. Even though we don’t mean it, we can’t seem to separate the people from their work. Our words make it seem as if the issue is the people themselves instead of what they are doing or not doing. This leads to a lot of misunderstandings and damaged working relationships.

Avoid making inferences about their personality based on their actions when you provide constructive feedback. For instance, when you feel that their production is lacking, don’t say they seem lazy or distracted. Instead, ask them if they’re experiencing any obstacle in their tasks so that you can provide solutions that can help them get out of their slump.

3. Add positive feedback

Bombarding employees with negative feedback can diminish employee engagement. So, make sure to mention any positive aspects of their performance. If you’re unsure how to do this, one concept that you can use as a guide is the Sandwich Method. This method has three parts:

  • Employee’s strength
  • Points for improvement
  • Last words of encouragement

However, don’t let the positive feedback overshadow your constructive criticism. Avoid using compliments to soften the blow. Keep your praise relevant. In addition, don’t mislead your employees into thinking that these points for improvement are just minor issues. Just ensure that there’s a balance to not completely discourage your employees.

4. Make it a two-way conversation

A lot of leaders make the mistake of not asking employees about their thoughts on their feedback. They will do all the talking while their team members just nod their heads in agreement. Open the communication channels by allowing them to explain their actions or opinions about your suggestions. After all, it’s possible that there’s more to it than meets the eye. 

Asking questions and giving them a chance to air their side can help establish better rapport between you and your employees. It will also teach you a thing or two about them. What’s more, they will feel valued and taken care of as they will be able to tell that you’re willing to understand where they are coming from and help them become better in their careers.

5. Pick a right time and place

If you’re going to deliver some feedback, it’s better to talk to your employees face-to-face and away from a group setting. Talking in private will give you more room to work on each concern you have with them. Also, this will save your team members from feeling humiliated in front of their colleagues.

In addition, avoid providing your feedback out of the blue. Schedule it with your employee so that both of you will be mentally prepared. On the other hand, don’t put it off for too long. Give immediate feedback after a project and let your employees know what they could have done better right away. This will allow your employees to apply your suggestions and start improving their work on the next tasks.

Constructive feedback is not meant to demoralize anyone. We just need to learn how to deliver it properly. When done right, you aren’t only helping your employees grow. It will also contribute to your efforts of establishing a healthy workplace environment that is built on trust and two-way communication. Encourage team members to also provide you with feedback. Show them that you are also prepared to improve as their leader.

Check Out What Else We Do!

Are you looking for a NYC event venue for personal or business occasions? Do you need a fresh perspective for your workday, a business address or virtual mailbox? If it’s time to level up your business and you’re looking to make some serious marketing moves, we have the answer for you!

Book A Tour

This location is fully booked.

Please select a different location.