4 Great Practices for Giving Constructive Feedback

When an employee is struggling with productivity or performance at work, a bit of constructive feedback from their manager, supervisor, or other company higher-up can make a big difference. However, it can be difficult to learn the skills for delivering helpful and truly constructive feedback, especially for those who are new to managing others.

These four tips can help managers, supervisors, and others learn how to give constructive feedback that will address issues in a productive, positive way.

Don’t Get Personal

When giving feedback of any kind to an employee, be sure to stay focused on the issue at hand. Instead of making comments about the employee’s personality or other personal traits or issues, really hone in on the problem at hand. Stay focused on the employee’s actions and keep any personal issues out of your feedback.

Keep It Positive

As you’re giving feedback to an employee or team member, try to keep things as positive as possible. Of course, you should still address the issue at hand and work with the employee to find a concrete solution. However, it can also help to mention the employee’s strengths or even find ways to incorporate their strengths into actionable solutions. You can also work to phrase criticism in a positive way that encourages them to change their behavior, such as asking them to contribute more instead of accusing them of a lack of productivity. When you voice genuine concerns with a positive spin, employees and team members are more likely to be receptive and even inspired to start addressing the problem.

Share Specifics

Another important part of constructive feedback is sharing specific examples to highlight your criticism. For instance, if you’re worried that an employee isn’t doing their part to meet a team goal, use specific examples, such as their failure to finish a recent report or their lack of contribution in a recent team meeting, to showcase your concerns. By being specific, you help your employee understand the issue and you can better work together toward a productive solution for everyone.

Keep the Conversation Going

Construction feedback should be a two-way street. When sharing your feedback with an employee, don’t forget to ask for their opinions, thoughts, or ideas for solutions. Oftentimes, your team member may have their own unique insights on the issue and can help you develop an effective solution that works best for them. By approaching feedback as a dialogue, both you and your team member can find the best way to move forward.

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