Employee Feedback

Employee Feedback: 17 Ways To Give Effective Feedback



Employee feedback is a process of giving quality suggestions to the employees. This is provided by the managers, Team leader, and also coworkers. This process doesn’t end here; even the employee can give feedback about his manager and coworkers.


Feedback can help both the employee and the Organization do better at work and create transparency amongst the team. Employee feedback is an essential part of the employee engagement process and also helping the employee get better at work, reflecting its Organization’s growth.


A study shows 60% of employees consider feedback, but 3 out of 10 receive it. Many organizations don’t provide feedback, and even if they do, it’s negative or just for the sake, which degrades this process’s value. If Employee feedback is taken seriously, it will boost the relationship between the organization and employees.


Employee feedback is a delicate process. Feedback needs to be regulated subtly but yet conveying what’s required. Not everyone is receptive to feedback and especially when considering Senior Management.


Feedback, positive or negative, can be challenging to deliver; however, with the art of conversation and some more elegant modulations in the process, feedback can be delivered constructively.


Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots.

Frank A.Clark


When is Employee Feedback Given?

Feedback is a part of the growing process. Organizations that are tuned to deliver to their goals are in a continuous process of evaluation as well as improvement. Such a process demands a sound feedback system in place. The significant factors that influence feedback are –


1. Behavioral Feedback

Employees in an organization need to act in a specific frame of behavioral dynamics and also, behavioral conduct in an office is defined and which every employee needs to abide by.


Behavioral feedback could be on misconduct against company norms, sexual harassment, rude behavior, a dispute within the organization, un-solicited behavior with clients as well as colleagues.


Example: “Nikhil I saw your interaction with the client, even though the client was a bit dramatic but you handled the situation very well. I’ve often noticed the way you behave in the office brings positivity to the Atmosphere!”


2. Performance Outcome

The outcome can link to goals, team performance & individual performance. Performance hampered due to personal issues, shortage of resources, non-cooperation from colleagues or seniors, bad time-management, irresponsibility towards goals, etc.


Example: “What an amazing achievement this is, am very impressed by your Performance also, I will definitely consider you in future projects as well. I really appreciate the dedication, hard work, and energy you have put in to achieve this”


3. Quarterly/ Yearly Appraisals

Every organization has a system of conducting quarterly/ yearly appraisals. We should give performance-related feedback at the end of the evaluation process.

This employee feedback relates to an individual as well as team performances.


Example: “Every organization should be having appraisals, it keeps the employee happy and happy employees = Better growth of the organization.”

Who gives the employee feedback?


Individual authorities are designated as the rightful authorities for passing on employee feedback. These authorities are:

1. Team Leaders

2. Managers

3. Human Resource Authority

4. Line Heads

5. Senior Management


Employee feedback is usually given by a person who is above the employee in the hierarchy or the reporting authority. Any peer or manager laterally cannot provide feedback to an employee. Conduct is something that is for the effective and rightful functioning of departments. If we don’t streamline the feedback system, it could lead to chaos and ambiguity. In some cases, it might also trigger in-house disputes.


HR usually decides on the course of action and reporting authority. A feedback system should be very confidential, as well as properly executed. Some feedback needs to be given within a specific timeframe before the matter escalates, and therefore should be acted in a time-bound manner.


When constant feedback does not bring the expected outcome, it calls for disciplinary action. The HR Department can further handle this.


The usual employee feedback is around the following concern points:

1. If a project delivered is not as per schedule.

2. If an employee makes a mistake

3. Behavioral mistakes

4. Not able to abide by company policies.

5. Faltering in abiding by KRA’s

6. Decline in performance

7. Not able to deliver as a team leader

8. And also, personal issues are reflecting in work.


17 Employee Feedback Examples

We can give feedback as frequently as any day. Every day is a good day to offer feedback if you think the input can bring the necessary change. Employee feedback, however, should be timed to be delivered appropriately. Usually, Performance reviews quarterly or annually are considered the ideal time to offer feedback. However, if you think providing input, arbitrarily can help, go ahead as it can influence behavior or performance.


1. Give Specific Employee Feedback.

Employee feedback should be specific to the problem/issue at hand, and the input should never stretch beyond the situation we are dealing with at the moment. Old matters should not be rooted up in the light of the current issue. Always deal with one point at a time and be specific. Also, It help’s to ensure a faster decision and solution. No employee would like to work in an organization where things are discussed based on past deeds.


2. Why Wait For Quarterly Reviews?

We should complete our impending tasks and necessary feedback on time. Some critical issues need to be dealt with yesterday. Therefore, it is essential not to wait for the approaching quarterly appraisal but to schedule a meeting and give the necessary feedback. Companies run expenses, and with prompt execution, you are saving time, cost, and efforts every day. This allows you to remove the unwanted tension and get things done on time given.


3. Always Give Feedback on a 1-2-1 Basis.

Some people are not tuned to take positive feedback in public. However, negative feedback can be done under covers. A 1-2-1 meeting scheduled with the purpose of offering feedback is the best approach. 1-2-1 feedback helps ensure that your own goals and objectives align with every term member’s priorities. 1-2-1 type of feedback gives regular, open feedback on both sides considering the positive and constructive parts; this helps identify the minor and major issues as soon as possible and solve them.


4. Focus on Individual Efforts Over Team Performance.

When discussing employee feedback, both factors contribute- Team as well as individual performance. However, team feedback should be done in a team review meeting. On a 1-2-1 basis, one should only discuss personal feedbacks. What challenges the employee is facing should be explored. A poor performance by a single employee can affect the performance of the entire team. A powerful squad requires skilled and hardworking members to be successful and goal-oriented; thus, one must first focus on individual efforts to achieve a team goal.


5. Focus on Behavior and Not the Individual

Certain events and elements trigger responses. One should not judge an individual; however, we can question him about his behavior. After having a thorough background check on the individual, see if the action is repetitive. The person may be wrong because of his current behavior, and if shortly this changes, then it will be good, and if not, then feedback is followed by the necessary action. So it is essential to focus on behavior and not the individual.


6. Feedback is an Opinion, Don’t Generalize it.

The feedback given by the authority is a sole opinion; it clears that this is a response, reaction, or experience of a person. Therefore shouldn’t be generalized as “we have observed,” “we want you to perform so” unless it is appraisal-driven feedback.


For example: If one employee says he lacks confidence, but in reality, he doesn’t, so it should be just kept as an option and now generalize it.


7. A Balanced Feedback

Balanced feedback is a two-way process of sharing feedback and knowing what the employee has to contribute to the story.
Balanced feedback provides feedback on what all things are being done well and what could have been done better. This builds confidence and also promotes good behavior, and clarifies things.


8. Time Your Feedback

We should schedule the employee feedback process. Therefore, there should be an element of empathy; therefore, consider the employee’s state of mind before delivering the input. The employee might not be in a proper mindset at certain times, which can hamper their productivity further. Often, the employee is already going through some bad phase, and giving feedback at this particular time will be a waste of effort for both parties.


9. Be Prepared With Your Feedback

Feedback should be structured, and also, we can present supporting facts and details. Arbitrary feedback can be misleading as it might create confusion as well as miscommunication. When you give feedback, be well prepared by being specific, be filled with empathy, make the conversation a two-way style and keep things private.


10. Make Employee Actionable to the Feedback

Once the feedback is shared, the authority sharing the input must work on a plan of action for improvement. Therefore, this action is suggested by the administration as well as additional commitments that need to be taken from the employee, and also, this should be documented for further review. Essentially such feedback helps the employee to see how their performance is aligned with the goal of the organization. The performance of an employee does depend on skillset, experiences, and most importantly, feedback. A seal of faith and constant nurturing is what ensures the process of fruitful feedback.


11. Feedback as a Regular Process

An employee Feedback system should be so well ingrained in the culture of any organization that just quarterly or yearly reviews should not be the only means. The feedback should be regular as it provides the employee with an understanding of what is expected. When this feedback is done regularly, it improves conversation skills, encourages the employees to communicate better with managers and other members of the organization.


12. Be Open to Suggestions and Inputs From Employees.

Authorities should be open to feedback from employees as part of the employee feedback process and ensure a fair approach. Many a time, employees have some great ideas on how to increase the organization and productivity. Considering employee suggestions and inputs boosts the trust of the employee in the organization, and also at the end of it provide positive feedback for the employee’s tips.


Also Read: HR Toolkit – Helping Startups & HR Manager Save Money & Time

13. Be Neutral and Not Biased or Critical

While sharing the employee feedback, the authority should not be biased or too critical, considering any past issues or hearsay. The input should be based on the performance of the employee and not on the relationship they have. Many times a manager dislikes an employee for some reason, maybe because of his behavior or a thing he did in the past. A neutral approach ensures the message is communicated correctly as well as accepted.


14. Gratitude is the Key

After communicating feedback, also ensure you are expressing gratitude towards the employee for their contributions to the organization. You can send a thank-you note. A quick email to appreciate the employee’s work, give them small gifts, or even you can take your employee to lunch, etc. Appreciating your employee will always motivate them to do better at work! employee feedback need not be a one-way process. For effecting change, the employee perspective also needs to be considered.


15. Be Open to Issues/ Arguments

While dealing with Employee Feedback, it is essential to be open to issues and debates employees might have to put. Having a healthy argument is always welcomed in an organization as it helps to overcome a problem through the various solutions from the discussion. Any statement or an issue, if appropriately discussed, can safeguard the interest as well as ideas of the employee. Constructively making use of these arguments is an effort towards a winning process.


16. Listen, it’s Necessary

Listen Patiently to the visible loopholes if you have missed any. Listening to itself solves many issues, and then feedback is just a process to reiterate subtly what needs to be done. Feedback is effective listening; when the feedback is given, the person giving it should know whether they are being understood and if the person listening is getting some value or not. Often through the hierarchies, employees cannot communicate for the challenge of transparency. Skipping levels in feedback and giving feedback is again unwelcome. HR’s are usually the last sought option for sharing feedback.


17. Ask, What Can be Done?

Post giving feedback, it is essential to ask specific employee questions such as-

1. Tell me if I can do something to help improve?

2. Do you wish to share your views on the feedback?

3. What improvements can we bring to improve the organization?

4. Do you have any questions for us?

5. Do you have anything to share?


How to Learn From Employee Feedback

Feedback given by employees should be documented and used as input for future processes. Specific feedback is crucial and can come from unexpected people, something that is important and can be incorporated.


The employee feedback process also helps to identify the development areas regularly. A feedback system as a strategy also helps to generate data for employee engagement activities and measurement. Employees should be attuned to the idea of receiving on-going positive or developmental feedback and not wait for performance appraisals to act. On-going feedback can create an atmosphere of accepting and learning this, to a large extent, also help to fill the gap between expectations and output.


Always keep a check on the feedback shared and the actionable listed. Go back and review if the actions are achieved or need further improvement. Hence, In the scenario of the input not taken in the spirit of a positive outcome, the employee should be met again and questioned. Individual issues are critical and demand strict action. After all, the process is about dealing with people and handled sensitively.

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