How To Give Constructive Feedback

how to give constructive feedback

Keeping your employees performing at their full potential is a challenge that every manager faces. In fairness, employees face challenges themselves; having to navigate a learning and development path isn’t always a straightforward task.

Knowing how and when to offer constructive feedback is a vital leadership skill that you can’t do without. Issues arise with employees all the time, so holding out for the annual review to air out your thoughts on employee performance isn’t really an option.

With that being said, we know that learning how to give constructive feedback isn’t always easy on your own. So, we’ve created this useful guide to help you get your head around the very best methods of giving feedback that will help drive your employees forward instead of backwards.

Take a look at our guide on how to give constructive feedback or head over to the HR page to find some of our other recent articles. Alternatively, you can get in touch with a member of our team to discuss how the right technology will help you to spot opportunities to give constructive feedback to employees.

Constructive feedback really makes a difference

While it might seem daunting, giving feedback in a constructive way really does make a big difference. It’s important to respect how much of a significant impact bad feedback can have so you need to have a game plan ready well in advance.

Good, constructive feedback will boost an employee’s self-confidence while also moving them towards finding a solution for the particular issue they’ve been experiencing.

At the end of the day, it’s far better to air out any concerns you may have before they turn into something more serious. The last thing you want is to have to reprimand an employee for something should it have been possible to avoid doing so in the first place.

How can you improve the way you’re giving feedback?

Be specific at all times

Simply telling an employee that they need to improve won’t serve much of a purpose. You need to focus in on the problem at hand and be specific on what you are offering feedback on.

So, if an employee is continuing to arrive to work or from breaks, let them know that this keeps employees waiting and puts a burden on the rest of the team. It’s important that you keep this in mind when giving feedback as specific feedback will be far more actionable for the employee.

Remain informal with your tone while being direct

Giving feedback to your employees is a serious part of your job, but that doesn’t mean your delivery needs to have unnecessary negative undertones attached to it.

Make sure you keep your constructive feedback direct and always endeavour to speak to employees in person. Relaying feedback over the phone, email, or text message is a sure-fire way to have it misinterpreted, which is going to cause issues for both you and the employee in question.

So, find a quiet room where you can have a one-on-one conversation with the employee you wish to speak with. No matter what you have to say, ensure that you don’t beat around the bush and get to the point of your constructive feedback within a reasonable timeframe.

Don’t hold back

If you have something to say, you need to say it with confidence. Sometimes it’s going to be awkward to give constructive feedback but you have to remain sincere with your words and remember not to hold back.

Employees may pick up body language or vocal tones that suggests you don’t quite mean what you’re saying if you’re nervous or feel awkward about the topic of conversation. So, if there’s negative feedback that needs to be relayed, emphasise this with a more concerned tone of voice.

However, don’t confuse a concerned tone of voice with one of anger, sarcasm, or disappointment. You’re not trying to alienate the employee by making personal attacks and you’ll need to not let your negative emotions override your professionalism.

Don’t be afraid to hand out some praise too

Nothing will sap the morale of your employees faster than continuous negative feedback with little or no praise in between. Once you lose the will and support of your employees there’s going to be some serious issues with productivity and employee retention at the very least.

Make sure you offer praise where it’s due without going too overboard.

Once you begin to get more confident with your constructive feedback you can start to mix negative and positive feedback together.

In this situation, begin with the positive feedback before moving onto the more negative side of things. This lets the employee know they’re on the right track but there’s still room for improvement.

Do you want to find out more about the kind of technology that can make your HR duties simpler and help you provide data-supported feedback to your employees? To learn more, simply contact Saxons today.