Constructive FeedBack for Fostering Employee Trust And Growth

As part of a good performance management system, it’s a manager’s job to give feedback—both positive and negative—to their employees thus telling them they’ve produced a great work or given less than their best effort.

Constructive feedback should be information-specific, issue-focused, and based on observations.

The Purpose

The purpose of giving feedback should be to begin a dialogue so both parties come to greater shared understanding, where, as a starting point you communicate a) your understanding/interpretation of a situation or circumstances, b) your expectations, and finally c) your appreciation (if appropriate). The purpose of giving feedback to someone is not to change them. That’s not something you can do as a manager or peer; only the person themselves can initiate change.

Tips for giving effective feedback

Remember that you are not the master of the universe. Before giving someone feedback, check to make sure that your expectations are reasonable and not limited by your ego.

Give the feedback person-to-person. Give your feedback directly to the person it applies to, not to their peers, your coworkers, your managers and not through messengers of technology.

Be direct when delivering your message. Get to the point and avoid beating around the bush.

Be specific and give examples. Make sure you tell the person what your expectations are, what you appreciate, or what your understanding/ interpretation of a situation or circumstances is. Using similes and metaphors can be helpful, but you need to make sure you have a shared understanding of what they mean and of their value.

Avoid “need to” phrases. “Need to”send implied messages that something that didn’t go well. It implies that the person did not do something well with his or her reports, but it doesn’t report exactly what happened. Providing clarity on what occurred is the aim of feedback.

Choosing the right moment and frequency. When do you give an employee feedback for a performance effort worth acknowledging? The answer is ASAP. Feedback is meant to be given in real-time, as close as possible to when the performance incident occurs so that the events are fresh in everyone’s minds. And on the frequency front, use constructive feedback regularly to acknowledge real performance.

Be sure to keep notes on the performance feedback that you give. It helps you track what’s happening in people’s performance rather than relying on your memory.