4 Considerations for Giving Constructive Feedback

Are your employees and coworkers meeting the company goals and objectives?  Is the work being done reaching its full potential? Has someone’s positive behavior been noticed? It’s important to give feedback in a constructive and non-criticizing manner.

Be specific.  By citing a specific example you can better drive your point home and ensure the receiver will understand the exact issue.  Be sure to state the actual problem; knowing all the facts and details – positive and negative. By being specific you can also set actionable steps toward correcting the situation.  

Be sincere.  Feedback should always be honest.  Make the tone and manner match the kind of feedback you are delivering.  Positive feedback should show emotions of appreciation. Negative feedback should be done in a concerned tone, but avoid anger and sarcasm.  Focus on the situation instead of the employee’s personal attributes. Remember you are there to fix the issue, not the employee’s personality.

Make it timely.  Feedback should be given when the event is fresh in everyone’s mind.  Praise the achievements as they happen. By addressing a negative issue quickly, behavior can be changed.  You might need to slightly delay negative feedback, if the event is emotionally charged. Give yourself time to “cool off”.  

Listen.  Let the person receiving the feedback have time to respond.   Ask open-ended questions (such as “what do you think?” and “what are your reactions to this?”) that will prompt comments.  This will allow you both to come up with a plan of action to address the situation.  

Feedback is essential in a work environment.  By providing feedback constructively you will make employees more productive and enable personal development.  A few positive words offer encouragement and point the employee on the right path. You owe it to yourself and the company to constructively provide feedback and strive for success together.


  1. I hate giving feedback at work, both positive and negative, I’m always worried things might be taken the wrong way. Your tips are really helpful, thanks.


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