5 Checkpoints When Giving Feedback to Employees
August 14, 2017

It is the season for performance management feedback to employees. When you have to give great feedback that is easy, but when the feedback is of an improvement nature, it may be more difficult to provide that feedback. Having a plan in place to give feedback helps you to put your thoughts together and make the conversation you are about to have a constructive one. Here are some questions and thoughts to help you with that all important meeting.

1. Before having a conversation, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does the employee have the ability to develop new skills?
  • Can the employee accept constructive criticism or compliments?
  • Does the employee have the desire to improve job performance?
  • Will the employee take your feedback as helpful?
  • Do you have a good rapport with the employee?

2. Be prepared with specific data to share when giving feedback. Consider:

  • What technical, business, personal and general skills are being exhibited?
  • Can you link employee performance to the goals and objectives of the organization?
  • Focus on behavior or the performance and not the employee’s personality.

3. Avoid providing feedback in the following places:

  • Anywhere that a co-worker may hear any of the conversation.
  • Unplanned moments in a hallway or elevator.
  • Noisy or crowded areas like lunchrooms or conference rooms.
  • Your own office – you will be tempted to answer the phone.
  • Places where there will be interruptions of any kind.

4. When is the best time to initiate a discussion with the employee?

  • When you can be the catalyst for positive change in behavior.
  • You sense a willingness for the employee to listen and appreciate feedback.
  • When you can be objective in your feedback.
  • You want to comment on excellent performance.
  • As close to the action as possible without negative feedback.

5. How should you provide feedback to employees?

  • Speak from firsthand experience of the situation.
  • Encourage joint problem solving of the situation.
  • Avoid blame, judgment or telling employee what not to do.
  • Offer understanding and empathy.
  • Point out what the employee should be doing to change the behavior or action.

Having talking points ready will help you to ensure that you are sending the correct message to your employee. It will provide you with confidence to be able to better understand the reasons for a particular behavior or issue making sure you can make the conversation productive.

Carol Kardas

Carol Kardas


With 25+ years of generalist HR experience, Carol's focus includes compensation, training, and employee relations. She has advanced HR certifications: SPHR, CCP, SHRM-SCP.


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KardasLarson is a human resources and business consulting firm that maximizes employee performance so people and organizations prosper.



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