Employee Feedback Examples You Can Always Refer to
Don't dread giving constructive feedback; use these employee feedback examples to get it right.
‘You need the negative focus to survive, but a positive one to thrive. You need both, but in the right ratio.’
It’s easy to give feedback to your people. Isn’t it? Unfortunately, it’s often not the reality, as research shows that 19% of employees receive meaningful feedback only once a year (or less).
Furthermore, 28% receive it a few times a year, and only 28% receive it at least once a week. There are many negative implications for lack of feedback to employees, yet it’s something managers can often struggle to do.
The good news is that there are several ways you can ensure regular, meaningful, constructive feedback is given to your employees. We will outline different employee feedback examples to help you ensure that you create a culture of feedback in your organisation and deliver constructive feedback.
Why does Employee Feedback Matter?
Regular and meaningful employee feedback can make a massive difference to your organisation. Not only can it improve performance, but it can also increase employee engagement and motivation, which in turn can lead to reduced turnover and a better employee experience. By improving the manager-employee relationship, employees may learn through feedback, make improvements to performance and be happier in their roles.
If you don't give regular and constructive feedback to your people, then you risk individuals repeating mistakes, feeling disconnected from you, and potentially not feeling engaged or valued.
Types of Employee Feedback
Did you know that there are other ways to describe the feedback you can give to your people?
Reinforcing feedback is when someone is doing something, and you want them to keep doing it. If one of your people is demonstrating positive behaviour and you want them to repeat it if you reinforce it verbally, they'll likely continue to do it.
For example, if an employee has informally begun to coach or mentor a more junior team member, and this benefits development, if you verbally reinforce how much you appreciate this and how beneficial it is.
Redirecting feedback is a way of encouraging change in behaviour by offering alternatives. If you simply tell somebody not to do something, they may stop doing it, but they may feel confused and disgruntled by the feedback. However, if you suggest that somebody stops doing one thing but offer them an alternative, then you're helping them to make positive change but also helping them to develop.
For example, suppose somebody in your team has a habit of interrupting others in team meetings or speaking over others. In that case, you may ask them not to do that, so they are aware of it but work with them to look at ways they can get their point of view across without being detrimental to others.
Reinforcing Employee Feedback Examples
There's no limit to how often you can give reinforcing feedback to employees. While you don't want to give it all the time so that it doesn't feel special anymore, your people do need to receive feedback, and chances are they love to hear positive feedback.
Here are some examples of things that you could say at pretty much anytime if relevant:
Show your appreciation - I think you did a great job when you spent time with the new starter in our team. It was really welcoming, and it showed what a great team member you are.
Praise their behaviour - I really appreciate it when you ask questions when I explain things to you. It shows that you're listening and are engaged with the work.
Encourage actions, so they become habits - I can see that you're having a positive impact leading the team project. I'd like to see you continue leading the team project.
Constructive Employee Feedback Examples
As a manager, technically, you should be able to give team members feedback at any time. However, employees may need to be prepared to hear constructive feedback. Therefore you may wish to check with them first that it's a good time to talk about it so that they are in the right mindset. Here are some examples that you could use:
- Is now a good time to give you some feedback?
- Do you have some time now to discuss how the meeting about the project went?
To give constructive feedback and hear their opinion about their performance, I'd like us to talk about your presentation last week. What do you think went well, and what do you think you could do better next time?
For more serious or difficult feedback, you may want to preempt the conversation a little bit more obviously - This is a difficult conversation to have with you, but can we discuss the piece of work you did with X?
When you need to discuss problematic behaviour with an individual, it's important to have as many specific examples as possible, tackle it immediately, and explain why that behaviour is a problem. You should also be supportive in case there is a wider issue you don't know about - I'd like to talk to you about your timekeeping. You've been late to work on several occasions, including these dates, which affects the rest of the team. Can you explain to me if there is an issue I should know about or how I can help with your timekeeping?
When an employee is underperforming, it's again important to approach the subject as soon as possible, and with examples - I can see that you’re not on track to meet your sales targets which obviously impacts the team, and organisational results. Let's discuss why you aren't meeting your targets and how I can help you to meet these in the future.
Or if the performance is continuously declining, you must discuss this to find out why and offer support; otherwise, improvement may not occur - You've always been a strong performer in the team, but over the past two weeks, you’ve been late to deliver several projects. I'd like to help you get your performance back up, so what can you tell me about your performance so that I can try and help and support you?
You may also receive feedback from a third party that you need to give to an employee, and it's important that you don't ignore it or delay giving the feedback - I've received some feedback from X about the presentation you did together. Can I share this with you?
The Do's and Don’ts of Giving Constructive Feedback
DO ensure that you have examples to give the employee, which should be specific and dated so that you can give them as much information as possible. It genuinely could be that they didn't know that they said or did something, so it's beneficial to be concise.
DO consider timing. If you or the other person are in a rush, then it's not necessarily a good time to give them feedback. Equally, ensure that you give the feedback as soon as possible after the event.
DO ensure that you also give positive feedback as it's easy to focus on the negatives sometimes.
DON’T provide constructive feedback in front of other people. Such feedback should be private to the individual, and you should ensure that you do this in a one-to-one setting where there aren’t other people around.
DON’T only rely on annual appraisals to give constructive feedback. As mentioned above, if you give feedback to someone six months down the line, they may not remember it, or if you delay in giving feedback, it may not seem necessary.
DON’T focus on giving feedback on personal behaviours or traits that an individual can't change. Instead, give feedback that is actionable and focuses on future behaviour.
There isn’t an exact science to giving your people feedback, but there are ways to make it more effective. Timing tone, language, and regularity are some of them. An employee feedback loop can help reduce frustration or issues. It includes continuous employee feedback using two-way communication and follow-ups to issues or tasks discussed previously. Practice also helps, as the more you give constructive feedback, the easier it should be to do.
Sorwe can help with feedback processes by giving employees an easy way to record feedback sessions, have two-way feedback conversations, ask for 360 feedback, give positive feedback in the form of recognition, and get feedback through surveys, among other things. This takes a lot of the work out of giving feedback, so everyone can focus on improving.