How To Give Effective Improvement Based (Constructive) Feedback In The Workplace

For all employers, helping their team to develop and grow is a key concern. Taking steps to do this not only benefits the business due to having a highly skilled workforce but also benefits employees too. A key way to go about this for employers is holding regular meetings with workers to offer effective, improvement-focused feedback on their performance.


This is not always easy for managers though, especially if you have never done it before. The good news is that it's not too difficult to achieve the best result for everyone - but how do you go about it?

Change Up Your Mindset

For employers, the key thing is starting with the right mindset. The primary goal of feedback is not to tell people off for doing something wrong or get them to change something just for your benefit. You should instead go in with the intention to help the person you are giving feedback to.

In addition, you should also aim to build a trusting working relationship with colleagues because this means any feedback you give is taken in the right way. It is also crucial to make sure you have a mandate to give feedback because this also means any you pass on will be taken seriously.

Take Their Personality Into Account

For anyone looking at giving effective feedback to colleagues, it is also critical to keep the individual's behavioural style/personality in mind. Although you might be direct for example, they might be less so and need a gentler approach. With this in mind, you should adjust your style as required in any feedback sessions and ensure you connect on their level.

Don't Base Feedback On Assumptions or Gossip

Giving effective feedback to help employees improve must be done from a first-hand perspective. This means trying to base any advice on first-hand experiences, where you have witnessed the behaviour you want to make them aware of personally. It is never a good idea to provide feedback based on assumptions or idle gossip you might have heard in the office.

Being Specific Is Key To Constructive Feedback

Try to niche down any feedback to specific situations and use credible examples to back up what you are saying. When doing this, it is advisable to have the team member acknowledge their behaviour first, before discussing a solution. This helps them to take your feedback as valid and recognise there is an issue to resolve.

Talk About Impact - Not Just Behaviour

When involved in a team feedback session, try to talk about the impact their actions had - rather than just describing the actions themselves. This helps the team member take your observations seriously and increases their chances of acknowledging their behaviour.Bear in mind that whilst the impact of someone's actions may well be on you, the giver, other colleagues or the customer, the most powerful impacts to talk to the recipient of the feedback about are the impacts on them. So for instance, how is what they are doing or not doing already impacting them, and how likely is it to get worse if they continue? Good examples of impacts are, how it will affect someone's reputation, waste or use too much of their time and make them inefficient, add stress to their life, and even cost them money in terms of, for example, bonus payments or career progression.

In-Person Chats Are Best

Although there may be times when email, video call or phone sessions are needed, it is generally best to give corrective feedback in person. This ensures the full participation of the employee and also avoids any miscommunication. It is also a good idea to promote how important Employee Engagement Surveys are and run one of these at least once per year.

Find Out More With PDW Group

Here at PDW Group, we are a leadership development firm that specialises in helping employers develop key skills. If you need more guidance on how to give effective employee feedback, get in touch on 0115 647 7333 today.

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