Ways to offer more constructive feedback at work

More and more HR professionals are revisiting their HR management strategies to make sure that they cater to the needs of a modern workforce. Employees from the millennial and Gen Z generations are putting more emphasis on growth and development rather than other monetary benefits, and one key element for this is feedback. How well you offer constructive feedback can have a huge impact on an employee’s progress within your organization.

Tips to provide Constructive Feedback

Here are five simple ways to ensure your constructive feedback is more valuable and relevant to employees: 

  • Observe an employee’s performance keenly before providing constructive feedback. It’s good to adopt self-evaluations and multi-rater feedback to get a comprehensive view of their performance before you weigh in. You should have a strong awareness of that employee’s strengths, weaknesses, and what challenges they have been facing.

  • Round out your constructive feedback with the right mix of praise and criticism. Start with one and end with the other, and be direct on which is which. Sandwiching negative comments between positive ones may just confuse or frustrate employees. The goal for feedback is to help employees feel appreciated for the strengths they bring to the organization but also to give them a clear direction on how to improve their weak points.

  • As much as possible, use face-to-face meetings to provide constructive feedback. With text communication, the conversation may not flow naturally, and employees may misunderstand what you intend to convey. When feedback is given in person, body language and tone will help keep the meeting spirited and professional.

  • Face-to-face meetings are not always achievable, however. And even when they are, body language and tone should be minded carefully. If you must chat over the phone or through texting, choose your words in such a way where misunderstandings can be kept at a minimum. Don’t intimidate or put your employees down while providing feedback. It’s fine to be direct and assertive, but put yourself in their shoes. Always strive for compassion, and if you make a claim, support it with tangible evidence.

  • Encourage employees to share their feedback in return and respond to any claims that you may have made. Sometimes, you may not know what actually caused employees to work in the way they did. It’s best to let them talk and ask questions. Their feedback can also reveal a lot about how effectively you are delivering guidance to your workforce.

 At a time when businesses are transforming in dramatic ways, feedback helps employees adapt and work better. It also shows how much you pay attention to your teams and care about each employee’s career growth. Without this feedback, the momentum, engagement, and productivity in your organization will stagnate.

Read more detailed information about how to provide constructive feedback the right way.


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