3 keys to providing constructive feedback

July 15, 2019

Offering feedback to your employees is crucial to company success. However, not all feedback is productive. Constructive criticism can be difficult for leadership to deliver in both a professional and effective manner. During a study done by OfficeVibe, 65% of employees said they wanted more feedback, while 58% of managers believed they gave enough. Framing employee feedback in a way that focuses on the specifics, the solutions and includes the opportunity for open dialogue can mean the difference between high employee turnover and high employee retention. Below, we’ve laid out 3 keys for employers to keep in their pocket when providing constructive feedback.

Stick to the facts.

The more specific feedback is, the better it will be received. Ambiguous statements can lead to frustration and confusion about expectations. Employers should be sure to avoid vague sentences such as “You need to contribute more during team meetings,” or “Your performance needs to improve.” Instead, leadership should provide examples of any behavior that has not met company standards, such as a list of dates when an employee was late to work. Factual statements offer tangible reasons and prevent emotion from hindering an employee’s thought process during that conversation. Emphasize the facts, not feelings. Once emotion is introduced during constructive criticism, an employee can turn defensive and be unwilling to listen further. 

Specifics are beneficial in positive feedback, just as within negative feedback. For example, rather than telling an employee “Good work,” following an assignment, an employer should be sure to point out the details about what made that piece of work good. For example, “This plan was well-developed, understandable and reflects the overall goal of the project, good work.” Giving specific feedback can lead to improved employee performance and higher retention rates in the long run. And if you need assistance on how to stick to the specifics while giving constructive feedback, we have a team that would be happy to help with that.

Focus on the solution.

While talking specifics is important when providing feedback, spending too much time discussing past mistakes can be unproductive. An employer’s goal when offering constructive criticism should be to address any issues in a professional manner and make sure they are rectified following that discussion. That’s why it’s crucial for leadership to be solution-oriented going into that chat. Whether the fix involves further employee training, a change in job roles, or other internal measures, employers should do what they can to help an employee correct the problem and move forward.

Employers should lay out specific employee expectations when offering possible solutions to ensure their workers understand what’s required of them and that you’re there to help them succeed in their role.

Keep it open.  

Approaching a conversation involving constructive feedback should begin with a positive mindset. This sets up the environment surrounding that discussion for success. Peoplehave a tendency to become what they are encouraged to be, rather than what they are nagged or begged to be.Employers should give as much positive feedback as they do negative feedback to their employees. And negative feedback should be followed up with a suggested solution or result. Remaining civil and transparent while giving feedback will allow for a more productive conversation.

We can help.

Providing effective employee feedback is vital to maintaining a successful workforce and should be done correctly. Fortunately, we have a team that can help you do that. At SourcePointe, our team can provide leadership with the guidance they need to handle tough conversations. We’ll also conduct employee feedback surveys to make sure you’re in-tune with your people. Our variety of strategic, operational and administrative HR services are available to help your business prosper.

At SourcePointe, we utilize our industry-experience to provide you with a multitude of customizable HR services, support, and solutions. All so your business can do one thing – more business. We’ll provide tailor-made solutions that fit your company’s needs while providing a solid return on your investment that pays off immediately – and for many years after that.

   Back to Insights