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How to give effective employee feedback
By Sonya Buck, Australia



We’ve all been there ourselves.  We have received feedback and certainly know the way it’s delivered impacts the way it’s received.


We call it feedback, but in some instances, it may be criticism.  Criticism is ok, but as long as it is constructive.


There are important aspects to consider when delivering feedback to your employees:


  • Importantly, don’t wait for a performance review to give feedback. Issues can escalate and your employee needs an opportunity to make improvements now.

  • Ensure feedback is not given publicly.   Scheduling a face to face meeting will limit embarrassment for your staff member and gives them a better chance to respond.

  • Don’t give feedback when you are angry.  Take some time to cool off first.

  • Your feedback should be specific.  Just saying your work is not up to scratch will not communicate what the issue may be.  You may be able to link back to Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) or just pinpoint the issue if it is just task orientated.

  • Don’t let it be personal.  Saying “I hate the way you……..” should be replaced with “I’m concerned with the accuracy of the reports you are producing.  Is there an issue? Would you like some further training?”

  • Ensure you give positive feedback (where due and don’t always let every face to face meeting be to deliver negative feedback.

  • Be fair and don’t hammer home the same message over and over.  Make sure you aren’t criticising the way something is done solely because it’s not the way you would do it.

  • Give your employee a chance to respond to your feedback.  There may be a valid reason for a change in their performance.

  • Finish on a positive note.  Communicate that you appreciate their contribution in the workplace.

  • Monitor performance and follow up down the track if there is improvement or not.


Believe it or not, people who receive feedback apply it only about 30% of the time, according to Columbia University neuroscientist Kevin Ochsner. 


To get the desired outcomes, deliver feedback effectively and you will have a better chance of it being applied.