Employee feedback is essential to growing and developing the workers of your organization. It’s a substantially powerful tool that'll improve trust and communication between employees and management.
Unfortunately, feedback often falls on deaf ears, ignored and unrecognized. As an organization, it’s vital that you ensure your employees hear what you have to say.
To help you better understand the ins and outs of employee feedback, we’ve put together this article. It’ll cover everything you need to know, including:
- Why employee feedback is so important
- 10 different employee feedback examples
- 5 examples of how to give feedback to employees
Ready to get into this? Let’s get started..
Why Is Employee Feedback So Important?
Employee feedback is so important because it creates a feedback-rich culture. This is an office environment where workers aren’t afraid to ask for insight and input from management and peers. It’s an environment synonymous with high performance.
More specifically, employee feedback can help incite change, fueling positive growth. It helps employees see and understand themselves from a different perspective. They want this because it can help improve their performance. Don’t believe me? Check these statistics out:
- 72% of employees believe their work performance would increase if management gave them corrective feedback. (Source)
- 57% of employees want corrective feedback, not recognition and praise (Source)
Employees want to know whether or not they’re on the right track. The feedback you give them is vital information they as workers find invaluable.
Aside from improved performance, employee feedback can also increase engagement. In fact, 40% of workers are “actively disengaged” when they receive minimal to no feedback.
Employee Feedback Examples: 10 Situations to Give Better Feedback
Below you’ll find 10 examples of situations where you can give effective employee feedback.
Show appreciation and recognition for exceptional performance
If an employee performs exceptionally well, you should show appreciation and recognition towards them. Acknowledge what they did right, what they did well — be as specific as possible. They need to know exactly how their performance affected organizational outcomes.
In many organizations, employee performance is often forgotten. Management can become lazy and forget to recognize, appreciate, and acknowledge exceptional performance.
Ensure that management lets employees know when they’ve done a great job. This reinforces the behaviors that led to that success. Employees will become more engaged when they’re being recognized. They’re valued and thus motivated to continue to succeed.
“Hey John — outstanding work this week. You’ve closed multiple big contracts and we’re now ahead of our forecasts. Well done. I appreciate all the hard work and energy you put into this.”
Acknowledge an employee’s good qualities and traits
Make sure when you give employee feedback that you acknowledge their good qualities and traits. Workers have pride in certain aspects of their skillset, which allows them to perform their job.
By recognizing these things, you’ll build their confidence, increasing engagement and performance.
“John — I’ve noticed that you’re able to address customer and client tickets well. You have a natural ability at being able to communicate and manage people and their concerns and issues. Customer relationship management is crucial to our company’s continued success. Well done.”
Provide support to employees when challenges and roadblocks arise
When your employees face challenges and roadblocks, ensure you provide them with support. These problems will arise, regardless of how well they do their job. Even the most successful of workers will face these issues.
It’s paramount that you acknowledge their resilience and fortitude as they face these things. Doing so will build trust and confidence.
Don’t forget to also acknowledge when they’ve overcome these challenges and roadblocks. They’re only temporary and they will get past them eventually. They need to know that their hard work hasn’t gone unnoticed.
“I realise the past few weeks haven’t been easy as we haven’t got as many leads coming through the pipeline. It’s outstanding how you’ve been able to weather the storm and continue closing deals despite this. I appreciate your hard resilience and perseverance in the hard times.”
Address problematic issues and behaviors within the workplace
Managers must address and stamp out any problematic issues and behaviors within the workplace. Make sure this is brought up during feedback with employees. In doing so you’ll encourage a respectful work environment that is tolerant and non-threatening.
At the same time, managers shouldn’t assume it was done intentionally. Many issues, incidents, and behaviors are unknowingly problematic. The employees committing them are often oblivious.
Don’t use the feedback to punish or to allocate blame. Instead, allow for discourse, discussion — outline workplace guidelines. They need to know what is acceptable, and what isn’t.
“It’s come to my attention that various colleagues have heard you telling questionable jokes in the office. They’ve told me that they find this offensive. Our organization has guidelines regarding this sort of behavior. We won’t tolerate this kind of behavior.”
Address drops in performance at work
Managers need to ensure that they keep a keen eye on goals and performance of all employees. If any drops in performance, or failure to meet goals occur, this must be addressed. The manager’s goal is to find out why this has happened, and provide support to rectify it.
When giving the feedback, make sure you start by referencing and acknowledging previous successes. This shows you’re not outright attacking them, but coming from a place of support. This’ll make it easy to segway into the issue of performance decline, and what to do about it.
“John — you’re the top closer in our sales team. You closed the most deals last year, which we appreciate. However, in the last few months your performance has declined. I was wondering why this is? Has there been a change? An issue or roadblock? Anything I can do to help?”
Follow up when goals are not met by employees
If an employee comes up short regarding a set goal, your feedback to them should address this. Make sure it’s dealt with as soon as possible, and that you identify the issue. This is all extremely important if you want to get performance back on track, and the goal met.
Making sure you link individual employee goals to the overall business goals is essential. This is key to continually achieving positive business outcomes for your organization.
Encourage discourse and discussion in the employee feedback. You want them to have a say, you want to hear their side of things. This’ll help you uncover why the goal was not met, and what can be done about it in the future.
“As an organization we set goals to ensure performance stays on track, consistent with forecasts. They ensure that not only our organization succeeds, but the individual employees such as yourself.
Your most recently set goal was not reached — let’s talk about what happened. What went wrong? How can I help and what can we do to ensure success in the future?”
Acknowledge when employees are setting a great example
When employees do things that should be emulated, make sure you detail this to them during your feedback session. You want to encourage leadership in your workforce by empowering individuals that set an example.
Employees are more likely to behave in a way that’s ideal if they’re being led by a colleague. It’s one of the best and fastest ways to get your workforce on the right track.
“John told me he has improved productivity, thanks to your recommendation. We appreciate that you are encouraging employees to use the new tool — you’re setting the example.”
Bring attention to behaviors that should become consistent habits
Often employees will act in ways that are positive to your organization’s business outcomes. These behaviors should be encouraged so that they may become consistent habits. Use your employee feedback sessions to bring attention to them.
They may not realize what they’re doing — it’s your responsibility to aware them of those behaviors. Ensure that they understand how it impacts positive business outcomes. This’ll make it so that they understand why they should be consistently repeated.
“That new method you came up to improve the email workflows was extremely effective. It resulted in 50% increased productivity. It was a great help to the overall team and we’d like it to be used again indefinitely.”
Reach out when there has been a disconnect
As the world has become more digital, and teams operate more and more frequently online, disconnect can occur. Management should try to rectify the problem and bring all parties up to speed and on the same page.
Employees must understand why the disconnect happened, and what can be done to avoid future incidents in the future. As management, you should also try to avoid making it too personal. Keep it professional.
“The outcome of the latest campaign didn’t reach the preset goals that were outlined. The marketing department was under the impression that you’d have a more significant involvement.
I’d like to hear your opinion on the matter. We should also discuss how this can be avoided in the future.”
Discuss any potential errors that may have occurred
It’s a reality that mistakes will occur. Although employees don’t like to discuss them, without reflection through feedback, they’ll likely happen again. Management shouldn’t look to assert blame, but rather have an effective discussion.
Employees need to understand how the error occurred and how it impacted the organization. You should also ideally go over potential solutions to make sure it doesn’t happen again. It’s about making sure they learn from their mistakes.
“It’s come to my attention that the emails you sent went to the wrong contacts. This is understandable as we are sending in bulk, to thousands of individuals. I was under the impression that we had in place a consistent process.
I would much like to hear your opinion on how this error occurred. Also we should discuss what can be done to avoid it in the future.”
How to Give Feedback to Employees: 5 Best Practices
Below you’ll find 5 best practices to follow in order to give the best possible feedback to employees.
Handle positive and negative feedback differently
When giving feedback to employees, you need in place a strategy for dealing with both positive and negative issues. Obviously you shouldn’t deal with them the same as they’re entirely different issues.
Positive feedback to employees is all about recognition and rewarding. Whether that’s acknowledgement of accomplishment, or a financial incentive. Management should identify what workers value — use this information to reward them.
A tool like Karl can make it easy for you to recognize top performing employees through Slack. Many teams operate location independent through channel-based messaging platforms. This has been true for so many organizations given the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns.
Negative feedback is an entirely different deal — this requires privacy and delicacy. You should never give negative feedback to an employee in public. This is something that is of a personal nature. It also should be in person so there’s no issues with honesty and transparency.
Look to encourage constructive criticism through an active two-way discourse. Be specific and avoid blame and hostility. It shouldn’t make them feel punished — it should seek to improve their performance and find appropriate solutions.
Encourage a two-way discussion
When you conduct your feedback sessions with employees, you need to encourage a two-way discussion. This means that not only are you asking questions, but they are too. It allows the discourse to be more active and dynamic, as they most likely have questions too.
By asking questions like “what do you think?” or “How do you feel about this,” you’ll get them involved. Doing this will build trust which will make them more likely to open up and be honest. This’ll lead to better, more valuable insights from the feedback sessions.
Make sure you plan for the meeting and give them a heads up
It’s absolutely vital that you ensure you plan ahead regarding your employee feedback meeting. You need to know what you’re going to ask them about, and what you hope to achieve. You’ll also be able to plan it to fit into your schedule better.
You should also tell them about the feedback meeting, and what it’ll be about. This gives them time to prepare themselves, so they’re not coming up empty during the meeting.
Having a shared meeting agenda can help you avoid issues of confusion and stagnancy during the meeting.
Give feedback more frequently
A lot of organizations will save employee feedback for an annual review to look over everything. This isn’t ideal as you should be frequently hosting meetings to get feedback from employees.
Trying to pack everything into one major session is not ideal. It’ll create a brain drain — it’s too much to handle in one meeting.
Schedule meetings for feedback with employees for issues when they happen
You should always look to be timely and specific when you host meetings and get feedback from employees. Don’t address things months after they occur — be active and respond quickly.
Your criticisms and critiques will be more effective if they address errors, issues, and problems that are presently relevant.
In this article we covered everything you need to know to give better employee feedback.
Employee feedback is a crucial element that managers must take part in. It grows and develops the employees in your organization, improving trust, communication, and performance.
Got any questions? Leave a comment below. We’d love to hear from you.