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7 Tips for Providing Constructive Feedback to Staff

A vital component to managing staff is providing constructive feedback on performance. When structured correctly, constructive feedback can both improve performance and also motivate staff. However if the feedback is not constructive and managed poorly, the result could have a negative impact on performance and motivation of the staff member.


Constructive feedback should be information-specific, issue-focused and based on observations. Here are 7 tips for providing it;


1 – Focus on Facts

Feedback must be on what has actually been seen and heard, including that received from 360 degree feedback, not on what you would have liked to have seen and heard. Avoid feedback on what should have been.


2 – Objective Evidence

Use objective evidence and/or information. Avoid feedback that is simply based just hearsay and/or opinion. The use of tangible and objective evidence, facts and/or information eliminates any ambiguity and confusion about the issues at hand.


3 – Common Language

Use common language that will be easily understood. Do not speak jargon. Using jargon or unclear, uncommon language, will cause confusion and misunderstanding for the staff member.


4 – Relevant

Keep the feedback relevant to the objectives agreed and where possible relate the feedback to what had previously been agreed during previous performance-based discussions or formal performance appraisals.


5 – Specific

Keep the feedback specific. Identify specific behaviour and/or performance that needs actioning and improvement. Ensure the gaps in behaviour and/or performance are discussed, understood and action plans moving forward, agreed.


6 - Avoid Criticism

Ensure that any feedback is constructive and objective not personal.


7 – Alternatives to Improvement

Focus on alternatives to improvement, not on who or what is right or wrong. Agree a collaborative plan for moving forward and avoiding a repeat of the situation/issue at hand.

The information contained in this publication is intended as general commentary and should not be regarded or relied upon as legal advice.

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