The art of giving feedback

To be an effective people manager / leader you need to be skilled at giving both praise and constructive criticism. Although praise is probably the easier of the two to give in many cases a simple thank you or well done can be forgotten during a busy working week.

However, when looking at negative feedback, studies show that employees will react at least 5 times stronger than when receiving praise. Therefore, knowing the potential impact that giving feedback can have on motivation and performance should drive us to become more skilled and prepared in the way in which we manage others.

The key steps below provide an excellent approach that ensures feedback remains objective, constructive and meaningful.

  • Don’t stockpile feedback – it is best given in a timely fashion. Not always immediate but whilst the details are fresh and clear.
  • Ensure comments and statements are linked to observable behaviour.
  • Make listening a priority
  • Keep feedback objective and not personal – focus on productivity not personality
  • Be clear & precise about the feedback offered
  • Allocate enough time – allowing time for employees to have their say
  • Be prepared to offer solutions and supportive action
  • Set clear expectations & timescales improvement objectives

Done correctly constructive feedback can be motivational and help improve employee performance without knocking their confidence. Our Teams & Team Performance  programme explores how managers can get the best of others by offering constructive communication on day to day, individual and team performance.