Digital Tech in Chicken Coop gpointstudio/ThinkstockPhotos

10 secrets for successful employee feedback

There’s a right and wrong way to let people know how they are doing in the workplace.

We’ve all been on the receiving end of feedback, and certainly we know the way it’s delivered impacts the way it’s received.

We call it feedback, but in some instances, it may be criticism. Criticism is okay, but only if it’s constructive.

Surprisingly, people who receive feedback apply it only around 30% of the time, according to Columbia University neuroscientist Kevin Ochsner.

To get the desired outcomes, deliver feedback effectively and you will have a better chance of it being applied.

There are 10 important tricks to consider when delivering feedback to your employees:

  1. Don’t wait for a performance review to give feedback. Issues can escalate and your employee needs an opportunity to make improvements now.
  2. Don’t give feedback publicly. Scheduling a face-to-face meeting will limit embarrassment for your staff member and gives them a better chance to respond.
  3. Don’t give feedback when you are angry. Take some time to cool off first.
  4. Make the feedback specific. Just saying “your work is below par” will not communicate what the issue may be. You may be able to link back to Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) outlined in the employee’s goals or review, or just pinpoint the issue if it’s task-orientated.
  5. Don’t let it be personal. Saying “I hate the way you……..” should be replaced with “I’m concerned with the accuracy of the reports you are producing. Is there an issue? Would you like some further training?”
  6. Ensure you give positive feedback (when due) and don’t always make every face-to-face meeting be for delivering negative feedback.
  7. Be fair and don’t hammer home the same message over and over. Make sure you aren’t criticizing the way something is done solely because it’s not the way you would do it.
  8. Give your employee a chance to respond to your feedback. There may be a valid reason for a change in their performance.
  9. Finish on a positive note. Communicate that you appreciate their contribution in the workplace.
  10. Monitor performance and follow up down the road if there is improvement or not.

For more advice on managing employees, visit and check out the newsletter archives and Talent Harvest blog.

The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Farm Progress.

TAGS: Management
Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.