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Tips for Giving Feedback to Employees

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As a leader, giving feedback to your employees is one of your key responsibilities. Whether you are pointing out areas of improvement or sharing praise for a job well done, your words can profoundly impact your employees' morale and performance.
Done correctly, feedback can help motivate and guide employees to reach their full potential. Done incorrectly, it can damage morale and cause feelings of resentment.
In this blog post, you will learn:
  • The importance of giving feedback
  • Types of feedback
  • How to give feedback to employees
  • When to give feedback to employees

3 Reasons Why Giving Feedback to Employees Is Important

As a leader, you likely give feedback to your employees on a daily basis. But why is giving feedback so important? Here are some of the top reasons:

1. It helps employees grow.

One important aspect of giving feedback is that it helps employees grow. By regularly providing employees with honest feedback about their strengths and weaknesses, you can help them identify areas where they need to improve.
Additionally, hearing praise for a job well done can motivate employees to keep up the good work. Employees would also work harder if they felt their efforts were better recognized by their supervisors.
So, if you're looking for ways to increase employee productivity, giving feedback is a great place to start.

2. It promotes open communication.

Communication is a pillar of good leadership. And one of the best ways to promote communication between leaders and employees is to give feedback.
When you take the time to provide regular feedback, you are sending the message that you're approachable and willing to listen to what your team has to say. This open communication can help build trust between you and your employees, making it more likely that they will come to you with questions or concerns in the future.
Additionally, employees who feel like they can openly communicate with their supervisors are more engaged with their work.

3. It helps you address problem areas before they become bigger issues.

Giving feedback is important because it helps you address potential problem areas before they become bigger issues.
For example, if an employee regularly comes in late or misses deadlines, those may be signs of a larger issue, such as burnout or personal problems outside of work. By bringing these issues to your employee's attention early on, you can help them find a solution before it starts impacting their job performance or causing excessive stress.

3 Types of Feedback Every Leader Should Be Giving Their Team Members

Feedback aims to help employees improve their performance and reach their goals. With that in mind, here are three types of feedback every leader should be giving their team members:

1. Constructive Criticism

Constructive feedback is designed to help employees correct specific behaviors or actions that are not aligned with the company's goals. This type of feedback should be given in a way that is constructive and solution-focused.
For example, rather than saying, "you're not meeting your sales goals," try "I noticed that your sales have been below your goal for the past two months. What can the company do to help you get back on track?"

2. Positive Reinforcement

In order to maintain high levels of productivity, it is important to offer positive reinforcement when employees do something right. Positive feedback helps employees feel appreciated and motivated to continue performing at a high level.
For example, if an employee goes above and beyond to help a customer, you might say, "thank you for everything you've done for our customer, it really made a difference."

3. Coaching Feedback

Coaching feedback is designed to help employees grow and develop in their careers. This type of feedback focuses on an employee's potential rather than their current performance.
For instance, you can say, "I noticed that you're really good at time management. I think you could be an even more effective leader if you work on delegation skills."

How to Give Feedback to Employees: The Dos and Don'ts

Giving effective feedback can be hard. You don't want to do it too harshly, but you also don't want to sugarcoat things. So how do you achieve the balance between positive and negative feedback?
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Whether it's positive or constructive, feedback is a key ingredient in employee growth and development. Here are the different dos and don'ts of giving feedback so that you can be sure you're doing it effectively.

Giving Feedback: The Dos

Do give feedback regularly.

Feedback should not be a yearly occurrence during performance reviews. Instead, it should be given frequently, as needed. This ensures that your team knows how they are performing and where they can improve.

Do be specific.

When you give feedback, whether it is positive or negative, make sure to be as specific as possible. This is the only way your employees will know exactly what they need to work on, and they can avoid making the same mistakes in the future.

Do stay calm.

It can be easy to get worked up when giving negative feedback, but it is important to remain calm throughout the process. Losing your cool vibe will only worsen the situation and even damage your relationship with your employees.

Giving Feedback: The Don'ts

Don't make assumptions.

Feedback should always be based on facts, not assumptions. If you do not have concrete evidence to back up your claims, then your corrective feedback will seem illegitimate. And your employees won't take it seriously.

Don't forget the positive feedback!

Positive feedback is just as crucial as the constructive employee feedback examples you can get from your team, if not more so. Let your team members know when they are doing a great job so that they feel appreciated.

Don't wait too long.

If you wait too long to provide feedback—positive or negative—it will lose its impact, and your employees won't take it seriously. It is important to share positive feedback in a timely manner so that it can be most effective.

Don't be vague.

As we mentioned before, feedback needs to be specific in order to be useful. Vague comments like "you need to try harder" or "you could do better next time" are unhelpful and won't give your employees any direction.

Don't make it personal.

Feedback must focus on employees' performance, behavior or actions, not on the employee themselves. For example, instead of saying, "you didn't do a good job on this project," try, "I noticed that there were some errors in this project report."

Don't shy away from difficult conversations.

Avoiding difficult conversations will only make them more difficult in the long run. And it could have a negative impact on your working relationships with employees. If you're dreading a conversation, try using "I" statements (e . g . , "I noticed that... ") to help de-escalate the situation.
While it's important to avoid common mistakes when giving feedback, ultimately, the most important thing is simply that you give it. Feedback is a vital ingredient in employee growth, so leaders should aim to give it frequently and effectively.

The Right Time to Give Feedback to Employees

Effective employee feedback and manager feedback are important parts of the leader-employee relationship. But it's also essential to know when to give feedback to your employees. Giving constructive feedback at the wrong time can be just as damaging as not giving feedback at all.
Here's when you should provide constructive feedback to your employees:

When the action or behavior is happening

The right time to give feedback is when the behavior or action is still happening, and you can address it directly. For example, if a team member can't meet a deadline, the best time to give feedback is as soon as the deadline has passed. This way, they can explain why the deadline was not met and share insights as to what needs to happen in order for it to be met in the future.
Waiting too long to provide positive feedback can send the message that you do not care about the issue or that you're not paying attention.

When an employee has done something well

Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool, and leaders should use it whenever possible.
Giving employees timely praise for a job well done will encourage them to continue doing good work.
Generic comments like "great job" are nice, but they do not really tell the employee what they did that was great. So don't forget to be as specific as possible when providing positive feedback.

Do it privately whenever necessary

It's important to avoid giving negative feedback in public. Doing so can damage relationships, lessen employee engagement, and create an environment of mistrust.
If there's a need to deliver negative feedback, do it in private so that the employee feels safe sharing their side of the story. Nobody likes feeling attacked, and no one responds well to criticism delivered in a public setting.


Giving feedback is an important responsibility of a leader. Like constructive employee feedback that will help leaders improve their performance, giving your employees timely and effective feedback will make them grow better – both personally and professionally.
But it's not enough to just give any old type of feedback; it's important to give the right type of feedback. With that in mind, you should focus on giving constructive criticism, positive reinforcement, and coaching feedback to your team members. By doing so, you can ensure improved employee performance. This will also help your employees reach their goals and grow in their careers.
Moreover, ensure that your feedback is effective and helpful. Remember to be specific, objective, constructive, and timely when delivering feedback to employees.
Most importantly, do know when NOT to give feedback. Giving manager feedback at the wrong time can damage relationships and erode trust. So, deliver feedback only when it will be most effective.
If you are struggling with how to give feedback to your employees, join a leadership training program. Our structured approach at B2B Leaders Academy will teach you how to give feedback to your employees in a way that is respectful, clear, and helpful. You will also learn how to receive feedback from your employees and how to use feedback to improve your own leadership skills. This leadership training is an excellent investment for any manager or leader who wants to improve their ability to give and receive feedback – and, ultimately, how to become a better leader!
© 2023 B2B Leaders Academy. All Rights Reserved.
© 2023 B2B Leaders Academy. All Rights Reserved.