Employee feedback: How to give and receive it (2023)

Written by:Ruth D'Alessandro

reviewed by:Aaron Carpenter

What is employee feedback?

Employee feedback is a process in which an employee, usually a supervisor or a team member, provides another employee with critiques of their work, performance, abilities, attitudes, and skills for the purpose of learning and growth.

Solo15% of global employeesthey are 'engaged', that is, enthusiastic about their work and contribute to their organizations in a positive way. And companies achieve better results when:

  • use employee feedback to set development goals
  • make constructive feedback a constant habit
  • request different types of feedback

Feedback, whether informal or formal, helps connect employees, align teams, and achieve goals. Outstanding feedback celebrates employee strengths and identifies opportunities to learn and grow.

Why is employee feedback important?

Employee feedback is one way to make employee experiences truly transformative through the quality of their connections and conversations.

By developing a culture of feedback and training employees to be excellent at giving and receiving feedback, you createemployee experiences.

Organizations with better employee experiences have:

  • More engaged employees, which improves performance and boosts team morale. TOWarwick University studyfound that the happiest employees are about 12% more productive. Disengaged employees, on the other hand, are10% less productive.
  • A strong corporate culture that attracts new employees based on shared values ​​and work.satisfaction- Companies that promote a strong and positive work culture can experience revenue growth of up to 400%. AND86% of job seekers will avoidapplies to a company with a bad image and toxic culture.
  • A decrease in employee turnover or staff turnover: A study found that there is a9% lower turnover ratein companies that implement regular employee feedback to improve employee engagement.

The great employee experience begins from the day a new employee joins to the day they leave, with many experiences centered around an employee's physical, mental, financial and spiritual health.Health & Wellness.

Employee feedback: How to give and receive it (1)

What types of employee feedback are there?

You will need to use both positive and negative feedback to provide constructive criticism to your employees, but it is the manner in which the feedback is delivered that is important.

So what is the best way to express employee feedback? Everyone loves to be praised and recognized for their hard work. But sometimes that's not always possible, and when you have to share negative feedback or suggest ways to change, make sure you say the right things. But the result will always be to encourage positive behavior.

We will look at some examples of positive, negative and constructive feedback that can help you get started with giving feedback to employees.

Positive employee feedback

Big and small “keep doing it, good job” signals are a necessary part of positive feedback cultures. They need to be able to celebrate successes and cheer each other on when they've climbed a mountain (or sometimes even a mole hill). Use positive employee feedback to build on existing good behavior and reach new heights.

Examples of positive feedback from employees

Positive feedback should be given for real examples of something going really well and to credit a particular employee's special characteristics or actions. Always explain how it was positive, as it is more valuable when employees can appreciate the impact.

Examples of positive employee feedback include:

  • "One of the main things I really appreciated recently was when they went the extra mile for me in our joint project. Thank you."
  • "It was a good idea to update the process like that, because it will save us a week of work every month."
  • "I would really like your input on this proposal as I know you have had great success with a similar project and we could use your ideas here as well."
  • "You really know how to build spreadsheet models very well, and having that skill on our team is very helpful."
  • "He would be well suited to work in this department as he has very relevant experience which could be of great benefit to this year's strategy."

Negative employee feedback

This is the "stop it" signal that signals the less than satisfactory moments when an employee missed the mark. It's hard to give negative feedback in a helpful way, so be careful with your delivery.

When negative feedback is made objective and specific to behavior and the effects of that behavior, it can help people correct themselves. But when negative feedback is subjective or more about the person than their work, it becomes unproductive criticism.

Examples of negative employee feedback

With negative comments, be very specific in describing the context and keep your language neutral. Position the conversation starter as an opportunity to speak and an opportunity for the employee to respond or fill in more details.

Examples of negative employee feedback include:

  • "Do you have some time this afternoon to discuss how the sales meeting went this morning?"
  • “I would like to schedule a meeting about the latest marketing project. When can we set this up?
  • "For your onboarding team exercise, what do you think went well and what do you think could have been improved?"
  • "I want to talk to you about something that happened recently. On Tuesday, when you missed the delivery deadline, there was a delay in completing the assignment. This had a negative effect on our customer relationship and I wanted to bring it up to see , how we can prevent it from happening again.”
  • "I wonder how we can improve these survey results at our next group meeting."

Constructive feedback from employees

Constructive feedback can be described as a combination of "stop doing that and keep doing this" in the name of making improvements. As the name suggests, it is about building and focusing on the task rather than the individual. It consists of comments, advice and solutions to improve in the future.

Examples of constructive feedback from employees

How can you ask an employee to do something specific to achieve an end goal? Effective employee feedback can be positive or negative, but the end result is the same: you want something to happen. When giving constructive feedback, be sure to be clear about why it is important or what "success" would look like and explain it to the employee.

Examples of constructive employee feedback include:

  • “It would be great to see you share what you did in the workshops so that the team as a whole can learn about the key points. How can we do this?”
  • “I know you wanted to manage projects, and I see you've made progress with time management, but we need to do more with budget planning. Let's take this opportunity to talk about how we can get it from here to there before the end of the summer."
  • “Some of your latest questions can be answered using our network of internal resources, and it's a useful place to look first to see if there's any information already there. Do you have what it takes to access this next time?
  • "You wanted to try working on a bigger project and I wanted to see how it went? Is there anything I can do to help you move forward with that?"
  • “I got feedback on the offer that was delivered from the customer. They said details of the cost breakdown were lost. I wanted to hear from you about what happened and if you would like to meet to plan the next steps.”

Formal employee feedback

Formulaemployee performance managementSystems can provide managers and their direct reports with an opportunity to connect and discuss performance, but they tend to fail for a number of reasons, especially when not used in conjunction with other informal ways of collecting and disseminating feedback.

Formal feedback includes:

  • Discussions about employee performance (eg an annual performance review)
  • Formally planned or highly structured meetings/events
  • Regular one-to-one conversations between employees and managers
  • Employee surveys (e.g. employee engagement surveys, 360° or multi-rater assessments, employee lifecycle checkpoints and training surveys)

Informal employee feedback

Employees exchange comments in more informal settings, such as:

  • Casual interpersonal interactions (eg, talking about water coolers)
  • Conversations or summaries of the moment
  • Group-based setups such as "lunch and learn"
  • Peer-to-peer or employee-to-manager arrangements
  • Desired or unsolicited events

How to give feedback to employees

To get the best employee experience, it's critical to make giving and receiving actionable feedback part of your company's DNA. But first…

What does exceptional employee feedback look like?

There are 10 qualities of exceptional feedback. At its best, effective and honest feedback is always:

  1. Sincere– really mean what you say and avoid the cliche
  2. Clear– stay on topic and say what you want to say
  3. on time– given when it's important and cool
  4. Safe– avoid aggression and getting personal
  5. The ground– solely based on facts and behavior
  6. two-way- both parties have influence in the discussion and agree on the results
  7. Important– identifies a goal worth working towards and is not a “choice of details”
  8. Solution focused– looks into the future and solves a problem
  9. is supported– ensure that help and support is available
  10. Started– it is not an isolated event that is not mentioned again

How NOT to have an exceptional feedback conversation

Here's an example of a critical feedback "conversation" that a manager might give before they've taken a moment to reflect on the above 10 qualities of exceptional feedback.

Toma 1:

"Winners get to work on time. I always say you have to be 15 minutes early or you'll get lost! Its sales missed the mark last quarter and are now not high enough to make up for the delay. If you were serious about your sales goals and worried about your job, you would come to work early."

"On another topic, it's great how you did those training sessions with the team last month, but I heard they didn't cover the new updates that came out last week, so what are we going to do about it?"

Let's break this example down using our 10 Qualities of Exceptional Feedback:

  1. Sincere- It doesn't hit the mark, we are approaching the well-trodden cliché territory in the first statements.
  2. Clear- you are welcome. There are several messages given together here without any priority. Is the problem sales targets? Is it the employee's tardiness? Is there any new expectation that employees must arrive before agreed hours? Who knows?
  3. on time– we hear a reference to past sales results that cannot be changed, and it distracts from the desired change. There are other comments about things that happened a month ago that also mix up the feedback message
  4. Safe– includes personal judgments that may make the recipient feel insecure. The statements in this feedback seem to associate punctuality with skill. The person on the other end of this feedback may feel that their character is being insulted.
  5. The ground– comments that the person receiving the feedback is not taking things "seriously" are not based on observable behavior. Stick to the examples and behavioral changes when giving feedback.
  6. two-way- it is not. The only opportunity for dialogue is at the end of the feedback.
  7. Important:confusing – Is early arrival at work the desired change? Or are sales targets dependent on timing? Or is this a reprimand for last quarter's sales? This is vague feedback.
  8. Solution focused– This highlights the negative without a solution. There are 'stop' signals here in the form of delay, but no 'go' signals for new behavior around meeting sales targets.
  9. is supported- Not a single piece of support is provided to help bring about behavior change.
  10. Started– moves on to another topic that does not allow for agreement on what should happen next

How to have an exceptional feedback conversation

Now that you're working with our 10 Exceptional Feedback Qualities, you can fine-tune the conversation here:

Tag 2:

"I'd like to review your sales goals with you and identify ways we can support you in achieving them this quarter. What are your first thoughts?

"I see you're booking a lot of new introductory calls this week, but I don't see any follow-up on questions coming from those calls."

“One of the habits someone shared with me that helped me make sure I covered my follow-ups is to start each day by updating my to-do list from the previous day's call; to achieve this i had to adjust my schedule arriving earlier than i used to, would that or something else work for you?

"Are there barriers you face? Let's see if we can clear the way or adjust other priorities. For some of the barriers we may just be able to recognize that they make things difficult, but for others we may be able to remove them ."

"I am always here if you want me as a sparring partner for ideas or advice. What are some of the other resources you can use or mentors you can ask for guidance? My goal is to enable you and the rest of the team to achieve your goals. Let's summarize what we both need to do next. We have until the end of the quarter to reach this goal, and we get updates to our numbers twice a month; let's register them before the next issues come out and update our plans."

As you can see, this is a much better way to give positive feedback.

Top tips for getting feedback yourself

It's important to solicit feedback from the employees around you to help you track their performance on a task or help you recognize upcoming risks and useless roadblocks. It is normal and desirable to receive feedback at all stages of your working life, so embrace the learning points by listening and absorbing the information.

asking for feedback

You can reach out to other team members for feedback via email, in a survey or in person, although this may depend on whether you want to create a formal or informal environment. When you send your request, make it clear: why you're asking and what you want to do with the results, so employees can understand why this is important. This will also increase the likelihood that responses will return.

Some examples you can use:

“As we enter phase 2 of the project, I want to make sure that I contribute the correct information to team discussions so that we can confidently act on my research findings. Can you provide feedback on what you thought of my Phase 1 result?

"I'm trying to learn more about how this business model works so I can share this with my wider team. Can you tell me how I can improve my knowledge here?"

Attached is the latest version of the company slides, which have recently been updated to the latest style. Can you review this and let me know if there is anything that needs to be fixed?

listen to comments

Feedback is a gift. When employee comments are directed at you, take the information with a positive attitude that these are ideas to help you learn. These techniques will keep you focused:

  1. Use active listening –be awareto the linguistic signals, verbal and non-verbal, coming from the speaker to get a complete picture of what has been said.
  2. Summarize to retain information: Finally, give the speaker back the main points to make sure you understand the information and what is being asked of you.
  3. Confirm your intent: To complete the comments, you can respond to the speaker by first thanking them for their comments. You can share what you learned from the conversation and how you will act as a result in the future.
  4. Correct based on the insight gained and follow up with the speaker if necessary.

How can managers improve employee satisfaction with the feedback process?

1. Don't make assumptions

We don't always know the full context of what others are experiencing. They can appear like swans, calm on the surface but with their legs paddling frantically underneath. Assumptions about other people can lead to overreaction or self-destructive behavior.

Balance understanding context and giving people a chance to "make their point" while focusing on agreeing changes for future projects.

2. Treat others as you wish to be treated

As feedback discussions grow, along with employee trust, open up the dialogue and learn how employees like to give and receive feedback and what works for them.

Use employee input to tailor your process to treat others as they ask to be treated. Strive to meet people where they are and adapt your style.

3. Focus on solutions

You cannot change problematic behavior from the past. Instead, focus on the future, the strengths of each employee, and problem solving to deliver strong business results. The focus should always be on a positive feedback culture that helps you achieve your goals.

Here are our 5 tips to help you foster positive employee experiences, provide positive feedback and improve your company's performance as a result:

1. Take a look at your current feedback mechanisms

Take stock of your existing performance appraisal processes and formal feedback systems. Do you use surveys?Focus group? One-on-one meetings?

Consider experiential surveys (another formal system) that exist in your workplace (onboarding, continuing education, engagement orsalida) and its frequency.

Once you understand the best feedback channel and how often that feedback will occur, share it with your team.

Help your team provide employee feedback and decide how data is used and for what purposes (for example, development and performance-based mechanisms are different and serve different purposes).

Identify informal ways to provide feedback to the team. Team feedback can be provided through activities such as lunch and learns, project team meetings, instant messaging systems, team bulletin boards, after action reviews, etc. Generate a list that incorporates your ways of working together as a team.

Technology must play an important role. Using collaboration tools like Slack and Asana makes it easy to provide team feedback. These platforms actively encourage the celebration of successes or highlight positive team action with fun features built in to create a relaxed online atmosphere for the entire team that provides meaningful feedback.

2. Let your teams own your employee feedback

Encourage interactions where employees and teams can set their own improvement goals and adapt their feedback. Take some time to ask questions such as:

  • Do you feel psychologically safe enough when giving constructive feedback?
  • Are we asking for enough feedback? Or do we ask too often?
  • What are some of the ways you've contributed solutions to the feedback conversations you've had?
  • What are our team's standards for working together and with other teams, customers or suppliers?
  • In what ways have we given and received feedback in the past that have worked for us?

3. Make every day a feedback culture day

Interact regularly, for example when:

  • Start new projects or workflows together
  • One-on-one weekly or monthly meetings
  • Goal setting and development interviews.
  • Talks about what everyone agreed to work together

Reinforce with your team that the tasks they work on and the skills they use are learned through study, practice and repetition.

Both informal feedback and formal feedback mechanisms ensure that each person can learn from each other. Remind employees that what seems easy to someone else may be a skill they have previously decided to work on. Think of suitable opportunities where you can give colleagues the floor so that they can share their experiences with each other.

Bring other resources into play. Employee feedback is not just limited to your team and yourself. You can call in support from other departments and resources across the company. These may include human resources, training and apprenticeships, other mentors or appropriate peers.

Remember: consistency is key. You can have a big impact on your team's feedback culture by committing to a change or two, conducting feedback follow-ups, clarifying employee accountability, and working together to follow these practices consistently.

4. Be a role model for employee feedback

Be sure to share your own feedback preferences with your team. Sometimes it can be difficult for employees to find a good time to share feedback. Help them reach you by sharing your preferred method of giving feedback and the best times for them to contact you.

It is also important that you ask for feedback about yourself and your management style.

Take the time to consciously ask others for constructive feedback on how you are feeling and make it a safe place for effective feedback. Try different methods (for example, an online honesty suggestion box or a call for ideas at monthly meetings) until everyone gets used to giving and receiving feedback.

Try to define goals that include both a big picture point of view and some specific, measurable things you want to achieve. Encourage others to put these expectations in their own words so they can identify and be clear.

Remind your team (and yourself) that it's okay to be imperfect; indeed "the perfect is the enemy of the good". You may have worked in areas of professional growth similar to those of your team members. Sharing your learning curve can help make that journey feel possible for others. They can also benefit from your advice on how to make their journey easier.

People surprise. Expect to be amazed by the team members' abilities to exceed your expectations. Thoughtful, consistent and effective employee feedback can improve the work experience and quality of results for all team members and build resilience.

5. Create a culture of business action, not just feedback

The key takeaway is that laying the foundation for happier employees, more productive discussions and creating innovative solutions requires buy-in from everyone in your organization. Feedback must be present throughout the company's DNA.

corporate culturedictates the working environment. Create an opportunity to gain senior leadership support and formal strategic planning to make employee experience culture a long-term goal.

Feedback systems will continue to evolve as we digitally transform the workplaces of tomorrow. Jobs are nowRemoveand people are distributed in different time zones. Invest in a fast and intelligent feedback system to become agile and responsive to workplace changes as they happen.

Action culture also works both ways. When you foster a culture that establishes organizational values ​​and beliefs for greater inclusion and open discussion, you will achieve greater contribution and participation from your employees.

In technology, we often hire to fit the culture. Instead, we should hire for cultural contributions.

– Judith Williams, Global Head of People Sustainability og Head of Diversity and Inclusion hos SAP

Three examples of effective employee feedback tools we use at Qualtrics

Qualtrics is the home of employee feedback solutions. And our core has always been voting.

But as it becomes harder to filter out the noise and get real signals about how our people are feeling, in the moments that matter, we need to go beyond surveys to real-time feedback to gain more insight. holistic employee experience.

And as we begin to capture this type of data at scale, across all channels and at all stages of the experience, we can empower managers, HR leaders and CHROs to make the right decisions and drive business results.

Our platform is designed to do all of this. callXM for teams of people— a suite of custom-built solutions that address the entire employee experience lifecycle in a way that no other platform can.

It ensures you can build high-performing, diverse teams, improve first-line manager and individual effectiveness, and make timely decisions across the EX continuum.

These are just some of the solutions:

1. Qualtric EX25

employee engagement, as a single metric, is no longer sufficient. It only provides a commitment slice at a particular point in time.

To provide a more holistic view of employee engagement and the overall experience, we developedEX25, an industry-leading comprehensive approach to measuring and optimizing the employee experience.

EX25 leverages years of customer research and global validation studies to provide the standard for understanding and acting on employee experiences.


  • A program design guide that helps employers nudge their employees to the cadence that works for them so they can stay on the same page with employees year-round and avoid survey fatigue.
  • A complete library of scientifically validated elements, including 5 KPIs to track employee experience and 25 drivers, critical topics that affect KPIs
  • Dashboard templates with employee feedback analysis to help leaders and managers understand and address the key drivers of employee engagement in their teams
  • Benchmarks that illustrate how a company's employee experience compares to others in the same industry
  • Expertly designed action guide that helps managers significantly improve each experience driver.

With the EX25, you can holistically understand the employee experience and where to focus for impact, without adding more complexity to your employee listening program.

It goes beyond engagement to truly understand how your people are feeling at every moment.

2. Assistant manager

75% of people who leave their jobs do so because of their boss and it costs an organization 6-9 months of an employee's salary to replace them.

Manager Assist gives managers automated, real-time insight into team emotions in one place, helping them act with empathy and speed. It helps managers understand where and why employees are frustrated, so they can act quickly to keep their teams working efficiently while avoiding costly employee burnout.

3. Discover EmployeeXM

There is simply too much data in various media to get a clear picture of how employees feel. You need a tool likeEmployeeXM Discoverbringing color and nuance to employee feedback at scale and across channels, so you can understand how people are feeling in the moment.

Experience XM on ourExperience Management Platform™ is a suite of tools that help you discover insights in unstructured data, regardless of the platform on which it is shared, and give you actionable insights into expertise gaps. This can help you understand what employees are saying about your company, no matter what platform they're saying on. From contact center to social media to online reviews and everywhere in between.

With omnichannel listening, you hear all voices, including the quietest ones. The software analyzes all platforms to understand how employees feel about your company. The use of natural language processing, conversational intelligence and analytics software recognizes the difference in the subtleties of human language (even emojis), to reveal the emotion, intent and effort of every interaction.


Employee feedback: How to give and receive it? ›

Effective employee feedback may be positive or negative, but the end result is the same – you want something to happen. When you're giving constructive feedback, make sure you're clear on why it's important, or what 'success' would look like, and explain that to the employee.

How do you give and receive effective feedback? ›

Giving Effective Feedback
  1. Concentrate on the behaviour, not the person. One strategy is to open by stating the behaviour in question, then describing how you feel about it, and ending with what you want. ...
  2. Balance the content. ...
  3. Be specific. ...
  4. Be realistic. ...
  5. Own the feedback. ...
  6. Be timely. ...
  7. Offer continuing support.

How do you give feedback answers? ›

Giving Feedback Effectively
  1. Check Your Motives. Before giving feedback, remind yourself why you are doing it. ...
  2. Be Timely. The closer to the event you address the issue, the better. ...
  3. Make It Regular. ...
  4. Prepare Your Comments. ...
  5. Be Specific. ...
  6. Criticize in Private. ...
  7. Use "I" Statements. ...
  8. Limit Your Focus.

How will I get sufficient feedback from others in the workplace? ›

Here are a few ideas.
  1. Show Interest. The best way to get candid feedback from your team is to create a culture of open and honest communication. ...
  2. Pay Attention to Non-Verbals. Look around the room when you speak to your team. ...
  3. Ask for Feedback From Others. ...
  4. Avoid Defensiveness. ...
  5. Own Your Mistakes.

What are the four key tips that can facilitate the feedback process? ›

  • 360-degree feedback. 360-degree feedback allows all team members and leaders to be involved in the feedback process. ...
  • Constructive criticism. Constructive criticism is a type of feedback that includes both positive and negative statements. ...
  • Coaching. Another common feedback method is the coaching feedback model. ...
  • Evaluation.
Jun 24, 2022

What are 2 ways that you can receive feedback? ›

Some of the ways this can be done are as follow:
  • 360-Degree Feedback. This method is useful to receive feedback from people above you, below you and those that are on the same level as you. ...
  • On The Spot Coaching. ...
  • Regular Performance Review. ...
  • Team Meetings. ...
  • Suggestion Box. ...
  • Regular Surveys. ...
  • One-on-One. ...
  • Focus On Performance.
Jun 29, 2020

What are the 3 ways on how do you provide feedback? ›

We asked David Jones, Managing Director at Protiviti for his insights – here are seven principles for giving valuable constructive feedback.
  • Be problem-focused and specific. ...
  • Talk about the situation, not the individual. ...
  • Give praise where it's due. ...
  • Be direct but informal. ...
  • Be sincere. ...
  • Listen. ...
  • Make it timely.

How do you give feedback professionally? ›

Giving Constructive Feedback
  1. Establish Trust. ...
  2. Balance the Positive and the Negative. ...
  3. Observe, Don't Interpret. ...
  4. Be Specific. ...
  5. Talk Face-to-Face. ...
  6. Don't Make it Personal. ...
  7. Provide Feedback Consistently. ...
  8. Be Timely.

What are 2 examples of a positive feedback mechanism? ›

Examples of processes that utilise positive feedback loops include: Childbirth – stretching of uterine walls cause contractions that further stretch the walls (this continues until birthing occurs) Lactation – the child feeding stimulates milk production which causes further feeding (continues until baby stops feeding)

What can a manager do to encourage feedback from employees? ›

For managers, one-on-one meetings and skip-level meetings are a great way to connect with employees more personally and open the floor to honest discussion. When you want to encourage honest feedback, what's most important is to create a comfortable atmosphere for the direct report.

What are the 3 C's of feedback? ›

UNC Professor Elad Sherf recommends using the framework of the three Cs — Clarity, Contextual Meaning, and Composure — as a guide for turning every performance review into an opportunity to demonstrate empathy and help employees achieve lasting growth, learning, and improvement.

What are the 4 C's of feedback? ›

The 4C model is a feedback model that helps you deliver constructive feedback by focusing on four key elements: context, content, consequences, and change. Context refers to the situation or behavior that triggered the feedback, and why it is important to address it.

What are the 3 P's of feedback? ›

Anytime a student wants feedback, help them identify what type of feedback they want: personal, peer, or professonial.

What makes good effective feedback? ›

Good feedback is fair, honest and clear. The feedback wording, the mark and the aspects of the work the feedback refers to, need to be aligned or consistent.

What makes effective feedback? ›

Providing feedback is a well-evidenced and has a high impact on learning outcomes. Effective feedback tends to focus on the task, subject and self-regulation strategies: it provides specific information on how to improve.

What is an effective method of feedback? ›

Whenever you want to give positive feedback or constructive criticism, focus on what an employee has done (the what) and then tell them why it was effective or ineffective (the why). This technique erases any employee's doubts and fears, as they would know it's not about their personality.


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