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How to give feedback to employees

How to give valuable and constructive feedback to employees?.

How to give feedback to employees

The main point of management is to help people develop. The most important detail in this process is providing valuable feedback. The way you give feedback has a huge impact on the recipient, whether it's a colleague or your affiliate. Of course, each person must take personal responsibility for their actions.

When we have the right recruitment process, the need for training and feedback is somewhat reduced. But as practice shows, recruitment processes are not perfect, and training is not always effective. This means that it is your job as a leader to intervene and provide feedback when needed so that people can develop.

In this article, we'll look at what the need for feedback is and how to provide it effectively. After reading this training material, you will be more confident in delivering the right information to those who need it.

Feedback Process

Some of you really don't like the idea of ​​feedback. But you will agree that you yourself occasionally need it. So let's look at the feedback process itself.

Step one - stay connected. You need to know enough about how your subordinates are progressing to know when they need feedback. You stay in touch with each employee in a different way, depending on their needs and your time. There are two important points here:

  1. Try to see employees in person more often;
  2. Use text messages and video calls sparingly. You want a minimal amount of control that will give you the necessary insight into their performance without becoming a micromanager.

Step two is planning. Sometimes you need to speak quickly in the moment. To do this, try to prepare at least one minute in advance - take a couple of notes to fix the main points of the list.

Step three - delivery. The goal here is to ensure efficient delivery and make sure the recipient can actually hear you. You should think about who will provide the feedback. Most of the time it will be you, but sometimes it will be your colleague who is better prepared.

Also consider when to send feedback. As a general rule, the sooner the better. Don't forget to reserve a private office to provide feedback in private. Provide feedback that is specific and detailed, and not overly critical to be helpful.

Step four - keep watching. You cannot assume that you were heard, agreed and began to bring your thoughts to life. Instead, you should stay in touch and correct behavior when necessary.

Feedback types

Feedback is what we tell someone what we think of their work. Sounds simple, but you should be clear about the types of feedback you can use. There are three main types of feedback:

Standard feedback. This is information that allows you to know whether a person met any standard. The downside is that standards-related feedback isn't always as helpful as it could be. Telling a person that they haven't done some work doesn't give them any food for thought that could help them improve their work.

Informational feedback. This type of connection concerns the skills and behaviors underlying the outcome in question. For example, you might say to one of your employees, “Hi, your presentation today was weird. It seemed to me that you were trying to collect too much information. Next time, let's focus on how we're going to handle the issue."

Emotional feedback. You assert your authority, maintain a positive attitude, and then redirect communication in a more productive direction.

It is important to make sure that those receiving feedback hear you, understand you, and feel motivated to use your feedback. Remember that helpful reviews are specific, not general. Being specific helps them hear you and makes your words actionable. Then try to make all reviews descriptive and helpful, not judgmental and punitive. If you are informative and helpful, you move from simple assessment to proper learning.

Good feedback should only come from you. This means that you acknowledge that you are the source of the feedback. You should not say that “the whole team thinks so” or “top management”. Speak only for yourself, for example, "I noticed that ..." "I think that you should do ...". Recognize your words, otherwise you may no longer be respected.

Also, pay attention to problems, not people. If you want to be heard, don't talk about them, talk about important issues. Then, remember to give people the right amount of feedback they can handle in a given amount of time. It is also important to make your feedback a dialogue, not just a conversation. This allows them to open up, which helps you refine your reviews.

Don't forget that effective feedback is tracked, not forgotten. Just because you shared the words does not mean that their effectiveness will improve. This does not mean that you should shadow the person, but it will be useful to check the progress a couple of times a week.

Effective Feedback

Preparing and providing feedback

One important part of leadership that many underestimate is the art of observation. Think of everything you say and do as a leader, as it should ideally be based on your understanding of your employees. Some of your employee information comes from third parties, but most of it comes from your firsthand observations while interacting with your team.

You have a lot to look at, including a person's personality and relationships, interpersonal skills, technical and business skills, and character. All this can be divided into three categories:

  • Positive examples. Good behavior and characteristics that add value and deserve a little praise. As for the task, this might include solving a customer's problem or improving a workflow.
  • Negative examples. If you see defective products or even work that is acceptable, but not as good as you think, or if you witness poor interpersonal communication.
  • Good behavior we want to see. If a person needs certain qualities for development and he needs to know about it.

After any interaction that interests you, be sure to record what you observed and any related thoughts you may have. Using thoughtful observation, not only allows you to stay connected with the team through interaction, but it also makes it easier to measure performance as you regularly make observations and notes.

Then you need to spend some time preparing feedback. Unfortunately, people don't usually take the time to plan because they think they know exactly what to say. Take a few moments alone in a quiet place and start with a simple description of the behavior. Write it down.

Be clear, concise and very specific. No generalizations or allusions. Then state your reaction clearly. Take a few notes. Your intent to give a review might be that someone is insulting others, creating a poor quality product, or that the customer is upset.

Think about the consequences and write it down too. You don't leave a review just to raise a question. You want people to know what can happen if things don't get better. This is the beginning of responsibility. They need to understand the possible consequences of their behavior. Whether it's a role change, an entry in their personnel file, or some form of mandatory training. Let them know what can happen.

On the other hand, it is important that you also understand the peculiarities of interaction with feedback and learn how to manage it all correctly. First, before you get down to business, you need to remember what the feedback process looks like. Start by choosing a time and place for the meeting. When you meet, start by telling them that you want to share your opinion.

Get straight to the point and be brief. Share the behavior, the unproductive impact you have observed, and some thoughts about the potential consequences if the behavior doesn't change, and don't be interrupted. If you are interrupted, politely raise your hand, say that you will listen to them, but first you need to finish.

When you're done, confirm that they really heard you by asking if they have any questions. Then it's time to listen for a minute or two and focus on the basics of effective listening . Look the speaker in the eye first. Be relaxed and focus only on it. If he/she doesn't say something outrageous, don't interrupt.

Then really try to understand what he/she is saying instead of prematurely judging and forming a response while the employee is still speaking. When the employee has finished speaking, offer to read a very brief summary to show that you are listening and understanding.

This is what the feedback process looks like and the importance of effective listening, but there is another part of the process that has to do with difficult reactions. Even if you're a great communicator, sometimes people don't like your feedback. This is reflected in many forms. Someone may assume that you do not understand the essence of the problem. They may blame others or may suggest that you underestimate them.

You cannot control your feelings, but you can control your reaction to their reaction. Rule number one: never react to strong emotions with strong emotions. Take a deep breath and remain calm, then follow the process. If you see slightly heightened emotions, don't react.

If you see strong negative emotions, your reaction should be to stop, sit for a while and say nothing. The space you create usually makes people aware of what they have done and puts them at ease. It will only take a few seconds.

However, if you see a second strong flash, your response should be stronger. Tell the employee that you didn't mean to upset them. Redirect him back to the problem and then continue. If the subordinate persists, state clearly that his reaction is inappropriate and ask for it to stop. If he does not calm down, you can ask him to return to work and talk later. Or you can talk to Human Resources about your options.


We hope you are ready to use feedback more productively at work, and the first step is for you to get feedback about yourself. Talk to your boss, coach, or mentor for advice and development talks, and start assessing your current skill level as a feedback provider.

Don't ask them how good you are in terms of feedback. Instead, ask some sharp questions. What can I do differently to improve the feedback I give people? Do you think I give too much or too little feedback? How would you describe my style in interpersonal communication?

The next step is to assemble the team and communicate that as a leader, it will be your job to provide feedback. Discuss new behavioral norms related to feedback.

Choose frankness even more than politeness. Talk face to face whenever possible. What may seem like a stressful start will soon become comfortable and normal if you speak quickly and respectfully when you see that people are not following the established norms. Remember that the usefulness of feedback is up to you.