Giving Constructive Feedback

In the modern economy, driven by innovations, companies must pursue constant progress. Therefore, employees should understand how they can improve their work. However, it can be a challenging task for some managers to provide them with constructive feedback. Hence, it might be useful to explore the best tactics which can be employed for this purpose and how they can influence employees performance.

The foundation of every business change should lie in corporate culture. A company must have a set of established goals and values shared by its employees who understand that their contribution matters (“7 tips,” 2015). If constant development is a key objective of a company, giving and receiving regular feedback is natural. It should be clear that the aim of any criticism is an improvement, and such methods are used across the board.

As a result, employees would not feel surprised or offended when they receive feedback. By contrast, if they are not used to such a form of assessment, they are likely to feel frustrated or resentful, consequently failing to consider it.

Another important piece of advice is to understand the nature of constructive criticism. It should be directed at the action, not the doer, and should inspire improvement, not remorse (“7 tips,” 2015). It might be demotivating if instead of receiving feedback regarding some particular aspect of their work, employees are made to feel that they are failing at their job in general. Criticism should not be personal or offensive so that workers can consider it without feeling bad about themselves. It is also better to give regular feedback instead of saving all critical comments for a particular occasion and, then, making them all at once (“7 tips,” 2015). Employees might feel overwhelmed with the amount of criticism and would not be able to react properly to each item.

Regular feedback allows workers to concentrate on one improvement at a time, slowly introducing new habits or altering irrelevant techniques. In addition, making timely comments can prevent an overall decline in performance. While positive feedback is essential for motivating staff members, it is better not to mix it with criticism (“7 tips,” 2015). If some alterations are interspersed with compliments, an employee may not pay enough attention to the shortcomings mentioned. While pure criticism might be more difficult to accept, it can motivate workers to concentrate on improvements.

Both managers and employees would benefit from direct and concise feedback. It is essential to be specific and give concrete examples of a workers weak points (“7 tips,” 2015). If feedback is too general, it leaves room for misunderstanding. For example, an employee who is told that they lack motivation may assume that they should be more active during meetings while their manager meant they take too much time to finish projects. Instead of simply stating that a person can communicate more with their colleagues, it is better to point out a specific problem – that they did not collaborate with others enough while working on an important project, and it has led to some negative consequences. If feedback is direct and clear, an employee can understand the problem they should be working on and improve their performance. Moreover, they are more likely to pay attention to criticism if it is not concealed by other comments.

It might also be relevant to outline some ways in which the mentioned problem can be eliminated. Criticism without indicating a path to improvement can often be unproductive, particularly, if feedback is not specific enough (“7 tips,” 2015). For instance, if it has been mentioned to an employee that their way of presenting material is unclear, they may not know what they should change in their presentations or in their style to make a better impression. As a result, they will only feel frustrated and could become self-conscious next time they have to speak during a meeting.

On the contrary, if managers offer some solutions, employees understand where to start and can feel more confident when taking action. For example, it is possible to advise a person who does not collaborate enough to consult some employees while working on specific elements of a project because it is these people’s area of expertise. In that case, this employee will know what to do and how these actions can improve their work.

While giving feedback, it is essential not to distress an employee. Therefore, any critical comments should be made in private face-to-face conversations (“7 tips,” 2015). Criticizing employees in front of their colleagues can upset and demotivate them. If a manager tells an employee that their presentations are not good enough during a meeting, it might become extremely challenging for them to continue their speech and present material in the future. Moreover, in some cases, giving negative feedback in front of other employees can undermine the authority or the expertise of a person. Face-to-face conversations in the private can, on the contrary, increase trust and understanding between a manager and an employee, improving their future communication.

To advance the performance of a company, employees should be constantly improving; for that, they should receive regular constructive feedback. However, managers must keep in mind that only timely, concise, and direct criticism can be beneficial. It might be reasonable to start by creating a corporate culture in which every worker understands why giving feedback is necessary and how it should be done.


7 tips for giving constructive feedback to your employees. (2015). Reflektive. Web.

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