How to Give Effective Feedback

Many times supervisors are not too thrilled about giving feedback to their employees because the worker often becomes defensive and angry, interpreting the assessment of their performance as an attack on the ability to do the job.

But if you want to improve the performance and productivity of your employees, you cannot avoid giving feedback. It is crucial. Here are a few ways to do it effectively.

1. Do it routinely

You need to schedule regular meetings with employees to discuss their performance and other issues with the job. Feedback needs to be given privately, and that’s why these individual meetings are necessary. Scheduling these meetings on a routine basis enables you to tackle issues and problems as they come up, rather than allowing them to metastasize.

2. Be straightforward

Feedback is not something that you can finesse. If you want to change and improve, you have to get to the point and be direct. You need to state clearly and directly what the problem is so that the employee knows where they may be falling short and the necessity of making changes.

3. It’s not a criticism

Basic advice regarding feedback is to focus on behavior, not the person. For example, if someone is being abusive toward coworkers or customers, you don’t want to describe the person as abusive, but rather give an example of when he or she demonstrated abusive behavior.

Feedback should also include ways that the person can make improvements.

4. Just one thing

When you’re giving feedback, focus on just one issue at a time. Determine what is the most important problem you need to address and target that. If you run through a litany of problems with the person, you may end up simply demoralizing him or her and killing their motivation to make change.

You should also allow the person to respond, or give them the opportunity to vent their emotions.

5. Make a plan.

After you have given feedback, and talked about what the person needs to do to improve, formulate a plan of action. You need to determine exactly what steps the person needs to take to achieve the outcome you’re looking for and also a timeline for each task.


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