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Feedback Mastery: Evaluating the Quality of Feedback Giving

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A great manager is one who knows how to give good feedback to his team members.

In an article about Uber's approach to performance reviews, Uber's SVP of Leadership and Strategy, talks about a very important thing about employee feedback. She describes feedback as a “gift.” It's a gift because if the person giving the feedback isn't interested in the employee improving, then they shouldn't be giving feedback at all.

This leads to, in my opinion, an extremely important observation: How good are managers at giving employee feedback?

When it comes to giving or receiving feedback, feelings like nervousness and panic automatically creep in. This is because feedback is seen as something that tears you down. But we need to change the way it is given.

Quality feedback is important for every company as it helps improve employee engagement and increase productivity. According to a study by PwC, almost 60% of respondents said they would like to receive feedback on a daily or weekly basis. For workers under 30, that number rose to 72%.

So the question is, how can you give your employees feedback that allows them to learn and improve? Achieving this is no walk in the park.

Below are some tips that can be helpful in giving positive feedback.

1.Be more inclined towards positive feedback

Many believe that by being tough and mean you can improve. But that's not true and can cause people to become defensive and lose respect for you. Positive feedback is extremely important because it acts as a reward in the recipient's brain and makes it easier for the employee to improve. Make sure you give more positive feedback than negative.

If you want to highlight something negative, you should master the art of communication and phrase it in a way that sounds motivating and not derogatory. Make sure you also provide solutions needed to resolve the issue. Following up on such improvements is also a crucial criterion for good feedback.

2.Be sincere in your concern

Employee feedback is only useful if you show a genuine interest in the recipient improving in the relevant areas. Without an inherent interest in your subordinate actually improving their performance, there's actually no point in giving employee feedback. As highlighted at the beginning of this article, an authentic and genuine interest in the development of the person you are giving feedback to is enough to allow you to be honest and appreciative of the recipient's feelings. This paves the way for a good feedback discussion.

3.Be honest

Employee feedback must be positive and constructive, but it must not be false. Your employees are not stupid. They know when something is real and when it isn't. If they find out the feedback is wrong, they will lose trust in the entire system. This not only diminishes the value of what you say, but also the way the entire company views feedback. For this reason, you must be honest, kind and sincere. Make sure you support your statements with examples so that there is a tangible background to what you are saying.

4.Immediate and frequent

The traditional form of performance appraisal focused on providing feedback once or twice a year. Such a system is based on memory and doesn't work! People learn and achieve new things every day, but they can't wait six months for someone to tell them how they did on a project. So make sure feedback is immediate and frequent. If you notice anything that causes concern, immediately bring it to the attention of the employee in question. If someone does exceptionally well at an event, you should recognize them either face to face or through an announcement to the entire team. Small gestures like this can make a big difference.

5.Be specific

Feedback cannot be labeled with ambiguous adjectives such as “great work,” “inspiring,” “not quite up to snuff,” and the like. The feedback needs to be very specific and backed up with achievements. Ambiguous feedback can be interpreted in many ways. Therefore, you must express yourself very clearly so that there are no misunderstandings. For example, you can say, "You did very well at the conference. We have more than 100 people who want to talk to us now. I want you to discuss how you did with the rest of the team tomorrow morning to motivate them."


Most feedback conversations end up being a one-way street where the recipient only listens to the manager. This is not a good situation. Engage your employee and have a conversation instead of switching to talking mode. For example, if the employee dropped the ball, ask them what they think about the situation, why it happened, and how they feel about it. It is very important that the employee feels safe and comfortable. Once you establish rapport, you need to listen carefully and then communicate accordingly.

Mastering the art of constructive feedback is pivotal for organizational growth. With sincerity and positivity, foster an environment of continuous improvement. Embrace tools like IceHrm for streamlined HR processes.

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