While everyone loves giving and receiving positive feedback, negative feedback is also part of our jobs as HRs and managers.
Your way of providing constructive feedback can make a huge difference. Honest feedback should be filled with empathy and understanding instead of criticism.
According to research, 80% of employees would switch companies for the same salary if the employer was more empathetic.
In this article, we've gathered the best constructive feedback examples to help you create a more empathetic workplace.
What is constructive feedback?
Many people confuse constructive feedback with criticism, but there's a big difference. The most significant difference is in their purpose.
While constructive feedback usually addresses negative behaviors, it has a beneficial purpose. It serves to help identify areas for professional growth and improvement.
According to Gallup, meaningful feedback should be frequent and future-oriented, meaning that you should always provide actionable steps on how to fix a particular issue.
Constructive feedback examples by categories
Constructive feedback examples: Performance
- Situation #1: Employee's performance has dropped
I appreciate you as a reliable employee, but performance reviews show that your performance drastically dropped during the last quarter. Are there any challenges you're facing at work or private life? Please let us know if there's anything we can do to support you.
- Situation #2: Employee is not reaching their sales goals
I've noticed that you haven't reached your sales goals for two months in a row. To ensure we're on the same page, please scale back your sales goals to make them more manageable.
- Situation #3: Employee hands in lower-quality work
I appreciate that you're very quick at solving clients' tickets. However, I've noticed lately that some essential parts are missing and there are more errors than usual, which take a lot of extra time to fix. Please pay more attention to detail.
Constructive feedback examples: Organization
- Situation #1: Employee is always late to meetings
I've noticed you've recently often been late to morning meetings. Is everything ok? Do you need support with creating a better work-life balance?
- Situation #2: Employee struggles to meet deadlines
While we're satisfied with the quality of your work, I noticed that you've asked for extensions three times in the past two weeks. Do you need help managing time and dividing big tasks into milestones?
- Situation #3: Employee doesn't label files properly
You tend to label files in your own way, which sometimes confuses other employees. I thought you might find our Labeling Guidelines helpful, so I printed a copy for you.
Constructive feedback examples: Leadership
- Situation #1: Employee lacking leadership skills
While we appreciate your hard work and meeting the deadlines, it'd be great if you'd show more initiative. You should stick to your own value judgments and practice your decision-making.
- Situation #2: Manager struggles to keep their remote team motivated
Recent employee feedback shows that your team feels isolated and they lack motivation. As a manager, you could take the initiative by organizing virtual team bonding activities to create a more engaged team.
- Situation #3: Leader is micro-managing their team
I appreciate you being a responsible leader, but sometimes you need to step back and let go of control. You should give your team members more room to come up with their own solutions, which will also save you a lot of time.
Constructive feedback examples: Interpersonal skills
- Situation #1: Employee has poor communication skills and speaks over other team members
You have plenty of great ideas to share and we appreciate them. However, I've noticed that you tend to interrupt others when they speak without letting them finish their sentences. I know you don't do it on purpose, but I'd appreciate it if you could wait for others to finish and then express your opinion on what they said.
- Situation #2: Employee rarely speaks during team meetings
I've noticed that you rarely share your ideas or opinions during our team meetings, and I know you have plenty of great ideas. I know speaking up in front of the entire team can be a bit scary, but we're all here for you. Is there anything we can do to support you in being more comfortable speaking in group settings?
- Situation #3: Employee doesn't collaborate with others
I appreciate your independence and reliability at work. However, I feel like you could collaborate and interact more with the rest of the team. We all share the same goals and will achieve them much faster if we all work together. Please let me know if I can help you integrate with other team members.
Constructive feedback examples: Problem-solving
- Situation #1: Employee asks for help too often
We've noticed that you tend to ask for help often, which is ok, but it could be distracting to some employees. I'd appreciate it if you could first try to identify issues by yourself, browse company resources or look for solutions online.
- Situation #2: Employee leaves tasks unfinished
I've noticed that you sometimes leave complex tasks unfinished, causing extra work for other employees. We'd appreciate it if you could offer solutions, even though they may not be ideal.
- Situation #3: Employee never offers ideas and solutions
While I'm satisfied with the quality of your work, I'd like to encourage you to think out of the box and solve problems independently. That could help us develop new procedures and restructure our work process.
How to give effective feedback
Here are six actionable tips that will help you give constructive feedback:
- Be specific – If you want your employees to change something, don't be vague, but provide specific examples of behaviors or situations you didn't like. Be polite, but make sure they understand what they need to address.
- Find a good time and place – You should share feedback privately, one on one. Find a time when neither of you is in a rush and you have time for quality conversation. Avoid providing feedback when you're stressed or angry – it's better to wait until you calm down.
- Start on a positive note – Even critical feedback should have something positive and use an appreciative tone, even if it's for small things. According to Forbes, employees who feel appreciated express higher job satisfaction.
- Provide actionable advice – Giving constructive feedback should always be backed up with practical tips on improving things. Especially if you're a manager or a supervisor of a person you're giving feedback to, you should offer to provide support. Depending on a particular situation, the feedback could be followed with additional resources or training.
- Set goals and check-in – You can set goals and milestones for employees to implement change. Don't forget to regularly check in with your employees to see whether they need more support and track their progress.
- Provide regular feedback – 63% of employees want more frequent feedback, which should be a good reason to make it a part of your company culture. It can be a good idea to schedule regular feedback and review sessions every few months.
Building a healthy feedback culture should be your priority if you want to keep employees motivated and satisfied and help them with their professional development. There's no room for a negative attitude because we want both parties to feel good: the one receiving and the one giving feedback.
We hope these employee feedback examples inspired you to implement regular feedback sessions in your organization.
What is effective constructive feedback?
Giving constructive feedback means providing concrete examples and actionable tips on how employees could improve a specific behavior instead of just pointing out something you don't like.
Constructive feedback looks to achieve a positive outcome by providing useful observations, guidance, or suggestions for the recipient's work or future. The result may be speedier procedures, improved behaviors, the identification of vulnerabilities, or fresh insights.
What is an example of positive constructive feedback?
You should start on a positive note, expressing appreciation for something that the employee has done well. Giving positive feedback before constructive criticism helps maintain good relationships with colleagues.
Example of positive comments:
"Jenny, I have always admired your productivity and dependability. However, I have recently noticed a change in your performance. Turning in projects late is unlike you. I wanted to check in with you to see if you are okay and whether there are any obstacles you've encountered and why. Also, I would like to see how I can support you better.
What are some examples of constructive feedback for managers?
Stressing their importance in creating a positive work environment and better employee performance, giving them tips to boost employee engagement and suggesting they could work on their empathy, communication skills, emotional intelligence, etc.
What is good constructive feedback examples?
Sometimes you need to share negative feedback as well. We often call it constructive employee feedback because it aims to improve efficiency without making your workers feel bad or discouraged. In this case, you can use these phrases for feedback conversations:
- Our company culture is about acceptance and understanding. Could you try being more open and collaborative in the future? I think it would greatly improve the functioning of our team.
- I see you’ve been missing quite a few deadlines lately. Do you feel overwhelmed or distracted? Whatever the reason, I’d like to help you out with it.
What are the 4 key features of constructive feedback?
We distinguish four fundamental types of constructive feedback in the workplace: positive feedback, negative feedback, motivating feedback, and corrective feedback.