How to Give Better Employee Feedback

on February 20, 2023 in ABR Blog, HR and Workforce Tips


No matter the industry you are in, we all have challenges when it comes to giving employee feedback. It’s difficult for your employees to know how they’re doing if no one tells them whether they’ve produced great work or appear to have given less than their best effort.

As a leader, think of giving feedback as an opportunity to mentor your people, build open communication and improve overall employee performance. Here are some tips on how to give better employee feedback.

1. Don’t wait to give employees feedback

First and foremost, if there is something that needs to be said, then it is important to say it as soon as possible. A commonly made mistake by managers is waiting to give feedback at an annual review meeting rather than immediately. So, make time to give prompt feedback. This way employees know right away what they did right or wrong, where they stand on their contribution to a project, or where you could use more valuable production.

2. Prioritize clear and constant communication

Set your team up for success by providing specific goals and clear expectations for them to follow. For instance, checking in with employees frequently is a good way to stay in the know of any issues or accomplishments. If you notice one of your employees has gone above and beyond, let them know you appreciate their work. If something isn’t working, take the time to deal with the issue before it gets worse. 

Constant communication is more effective than writing down problems and trying to address them all at once in an annual review. Instead of waiting for the annual performance review, give just-in-time feedback instead. Consistent feedback will show your team you are engaged in the work they do and want to help them succeed.

3. Be specific when giving employee feedback

Be specific when giving feedback by talking about a situation that you observed yourself and providing any details you can. Comments such as “good job” and explaining what you’re happy with can go a long way.

Avoid vague terms when giving feedback. For example, using expressions such as “always” and “usually” or referring to observations made by other people should be avoided. When giving negative feedback, it’s even more important to be specific. Remember, the purpose of providing feedback is to improve the performance of your employees, not discourage them.

4. Offer suggestions and follow-up with employee feedback

Lastly, give better employee feedback by offering suggestions and scheduling a follow-up conversation. Offer clarity on expected outcomes. Depending on the situation, try to include advice and examples of what success looks like.

Feedback based on careful observation and evaluation coupled with routine follow-up is vital for employee feedback success. When ending a feedback conversation with your employee, help plan their next step with them and set up a future discussion to reconnect about progress towards expected outcomes. Doing this will help keep the employee on track to meet the goals you’ve set together.

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