Giving Constructive Feedback

There are times when offering constructive feedback is essential to maintaining quality performance on the job. It is easy to praise a job well done. However, supervisors generally dread having to deliver negative news or criticize employees’ performance. Here are a few tips on how to make the best out of a difficult situation and help deliver constructive feedback.

Get the facts straight

  • Have an informed view of the situation
  • Confirm all facts and details to avoid miscommunication

Foster open dialogue

  • Don’t focus solely on the negative behaviour
  • Highlight the employee’s strengths
  • Communicate your message clearly
  • Remain calm, collected and focused
  • Criticize the action, not the person
  • Listen carefully to the employee’s perspective and try to agree on the problem

Involve the employee in identifying a solution

  • Once the negative behaviour has been stated and understood, move on and present the issue as an opportunity
  • Listen to the employee’s suggestions
  • Do not talk too much
  • Be open-minded
  • Be aware of tone of voice, pace and loudness
  • Discuss your ideas for a solution and ask for input
  • Acknowledge each suggestion
  • Be careful of the impact of body height and space

Action plan and follow-up

  • Decide how the solution will be implemented
  • Be specific and explicit in what you expect
  • Monitor and follow-up as required
  • Confirm how and when the employee and/or you will evaluate whether the action has been implemented


Newsletter Issue:
HR Microscope November 2014