These Strategies Will Help You Give Effective Feedback to Employees

One of the most effective ways to help your employees grow, improve, and build their careers is through ongoing feedback. Both positive and negative feedback – let’s call the latter constructive criticism – can be extremely helpful. But it has to be carefully planned and executed for it to be a success.

  • Meaningful feedback builds employee engagement. Team members who are ignored quickly become disengaged, and with that, morale and productivity slump. This is supported by a recent Gallup poll, which concludes that people prefer even negative feedback to none. In fact, in more experienced employees, constructive criticism is highly instrumental to their progress.
  • Timing is everything.

    Nothing against the requisite annual performance reviews, but take additional opportunities to deliver feedback throughout the year. These tend to be more meaningful and fruitful because feedback is most effective when delivered in real-time.

  • One caveat: Avoid venting your anger under the guise of “providing feedback.” Take enough time to let any negative emotions cool down before meeting with your employee.
  • Be prepared.

    Feedback conversations are important to both you and your employee, so take time in advance to gather your data and adequately prepare. Use facts, specific examples, and statistics to be ready to support what you need to say.

    The sandwich approach only leaves behind a bad taste.

    If you’re not familiar with the sandwich approach, it refers to the technique of slipping in criticism between two compliments as you meet with an employee. And, it should be avoided for two reasons:

    1. People tend to see right through it, and
    2. Delaying the inevitable only heightens anxiety for everyone involved.

    Be thoughtful and professional but direct when you have to deliver negative feedback. Suggest to your employee that the two of you address problems together. And most importantly, make sure all feedback you offer is honest and authentic.

  • Deliver negative feedback in person whenever possible. Use a non-punitive tone to lessen the chance it will feel like a personal attack.
    Don’t fall into the bias trap.
  • In any interaction with employees, avoid any bias. This is another area that may require some careful advance thought.

  • For instance, the Wall Street Journal has reported on a Stamford University study revealing that men and women are evaluated differently at work. Specifically, managers are more likely to critique females for coming on too strong, and their achievements are more likely to be seen as the result of team versus individual efforts.
  • A Few More Tips

    Here are a few more tips for offering consistent, effective constructive criticism to your employees:

  • Understand why you’re delivering a particular message. Think first, and ask yourself: Is it really appropriate – and constructive?
  • Offer criticism of a person’s behavior, not the person themselves. Focus on the situation – and on how that behavior could be changed to make it better.
  • When it comes to employee development, including the most effective ways to evaluate, coach, and lead your workforce, consider partnering with PrideStaff Modesto. We can help create customized solutions to meet all your staffing, talent management, and ongoing HR needs. Reach out to us today to learn more.

    Share on facebook
    Share on twitter
    Share on linkedin
    Share on email