Sharing Constructive Feedback With Employees : Tips & Tricks

December 8 2021

You need to provide feedback to conclude a successful employee performance review and make the most out of the process. Of course, it has to be constructive feedback: it must encourage dialogue and lead to clear solutions and optimized performance. 

All this may seem easy on paper, and yet, it can be very tricky to provide constructive feedback that is well articulated, relevant and understood by your employee.

We have great tips and employee feedback examples to ensure that you always share constructive criticism that will help improve your teams’ performance!

What Is Constructive Feedback?

Constructive feedback is meant to move a situation forward. In addition to identifying shortcomings, it often suggests avenues for improvement and encourages meaningful discussions with the employee.

To ensure that your criticism is constructive, it is essential to modernize your performance review process. The solution to build an engaging experience? Focus on dialogue, be transparent, and optimize your performance management. By starting on the right foot, you’re sure to get the most out of your performance reviews, and it will be much easier to share constructive feedback with your employees! Here are our useful tips.

1. Think About Positive Feedback

Before exploring areas of improvement that the employee should explore, have you taken the time to highlight their skills and achievements? If you only focus on negative feedback, your employee will feel discouraged and undervalued. They will be overwhelmed by criticism and suggestions, and their performance and motivation will eventually suffer from it.

It is therefore essential to remember to have a positive attitude during a performance review. Encouragement and recognition are as necessary as constructive criticism for good performance management.

2. Make Sure that Your Feedback Is Relevant

Not all criticism is worth sharing! It is important to avoid blunders during the performance review. Before sharing critical feedback, make sure it is relevant to your employee’s individual development and the smooth operation of your organization. 

Obviously, criticism regarding personality should be avoided. Similarly, areas of improvement over which the employee has no control should not be mentioned. For example, if a drop in productivity is linked with labour shortages, poor management or organizational issues, the employee cannot be asked to take action to remedy the situation. These factors are beyond their control and should not influence their individual performance appraisal.

Instead, focus on what the employee can do individually to optimize their daily work (which attitude to adopt, what actions to put in place, what tools to use, etc.). Criticism that initiates a discussion on the employee’s performance goals and professional challenges is therefore the only feedback worth giving.

3. Rely on Facts

Impressions can be useful in initiating discussions with your employee during their performance review. However, it is crucial to support your feelings with key facts in order to be objective and transparent in your remarks. To find the best ways to improve your employee’s professional development, you have to rely on clear indicators: KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are here to help you build reliable HR reports easily!

By using key indicators, you will be able to optimize your performance management and ensure that you always share constructive and objective criticism. 

Want to know more about how to use KPIs? Check out our article on strategic HR!

4. Be Open to Dialogue

Effective feedback allows the employee to express themselves. To encourage a two-way conversation, there is only one solution: open feedback! This includes a direct question and therefore leads the employee to share their feelings and opinions.

5. Employee Feedback Examples

By following our previous tips and using these templates for your own needs, you will be able to express your ideas clearly and start a rewarding dialogue with your evaluated employees. Now that we’ve laid the groundwork, here are a few employee feedback examples that you can use or remodel to suit your context!

  • “I felt you were less involved in this project. Could you explain to me what you might not like about this task or if you feel overwhelmed by other aspects of your job?”
  • “You are very enthusiastic and involved in your work, that’s great to see. This can lead you to not be receptive to other people’s ideas or feedback. I think we’d make even more progress if we worked together on this. What do you think?”
  • “I really like to focus on teamwork to maintain a good dynamic and a positive work atmosphere. You may not have had the opportunity to take advantage of this work dynamic yet, but feel free to contact your coworkers if you need to. Would you like us to plan a team project to get you started?”
  • “Great work on this month’s objective. I understand that this type of task suits you and that you enjoy working on these projects. Concerning this task, however, I felt you were less comfortable. Do you like these types of projects? How could we make it so that you find these tasks more stimulating?”
  • I felt that we did not communicate enough on this project, resulting in wasted time and lack of information. I would like you to feel more comfortable communicating with me if there are problems or even just to keep me informed of your work progress. Do you share this feeling, do you have an idea to share on how we can improve together on communication?”

What do all these examples of constructive criticism have in common? They focus on feelings and avenues for professional development rather than stating closed certainties, often emphasize the positive before mentioning shortcomings, take into account the employee’s potential difficulties and conclude with an open-ended question to initiate a dialogue on future projects. 

Modernizing company performance management is above all a matter of experience and of questioning managerial practices. Constructive criticism is part of the essential outlook you need to have if you want to optimize employee performance and well-being, as well as retention in the long term.

Check out our article for examples of employee performance review phrases!

Your performance review process must lead to informative dialogues to optimize team productivity and well-being. Furthermore, meaningful feedback is essential to ensure that the process benefits the employee as well as the manager. By taking into account everyone’s voice and feelings, you will implement a healthy feedback culture that will foster employee growth and support business goals.

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