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Giving Feedback to Employees: 9 Helpful Tips

Giving feedback to your employees can help your team be its best. Here are a few tips on how to give feedback to your team.

By Fellow.app  •   September 9, 2022  •   5 min read

Whether you’re providing negative or positive feedback – or maybe a bit of both – giving feedback to your team members can feel intimidating. However, both types of feedback are necessary for a successful work environment where your team members can grow. Read on to learn some pro tips for giving feedback to employees the right way.

How to give feedback to employees 

The key to great employee feedback is to keep your comments constructive rather than based on your feelings. Not that it should be all negative feedback – you should offer praise too! Here are nine tips on how to give meaningful feedback. 

1Use a tool

To share feedback with your employees and managers, you’ll need a tool that will set you up for success. Fellow is a great example. This online platform gives you tools to improve your team members’ performance and engagement based on their own wants and needs. From gathering regular feedback and annual 360 feedback to automating feedback requests and streamlining your meetings, Fellow has it all. 

2Consider the feedback sandwich

A feedback sandwich is when a manager gives a team member negative feedback between two pieces of positive feedback. Some managers may use this method to make it seem like they don’t only have negative things to say to their employees. And while that seems great on its face, it can come with drawbacks. Below are some pros and cons to delivering a feedback sandwich. 

Pros

  • The positive feedback provides a cushion for the constructive feedback. 
  • Feedback sandwiches can make it less stressful for the manager to provide negative feedback.
  • The feedback conversation will end on a positive note.

Cons

  • Team members might only listen to the positive feedback since it outweighs the negative. They might leave the performance review thinking they’re doing a great job when they actually need to improve their performance. 
  • Your team members may feel more anxious if you dance around the situation. 
  • Your team may come to believe that you’ll always follow positive feedback with something negative. That’s the opposite of building trust. 

If you choose to use this type of feedback with your team members, make sure that your communication is clear. This way, team members leave knowing exactly what you expect of them. 

3Automate your feedback requests

Whenever a team member hosts a meeting, make sure they set up an automatic meeting feedback reminder. This way, you can provide feedback that’ll help them learn and boost employee performance. (The same is true if you’re hosting and you want feedback from your employees.) Fellow can automate feedback requests so you and your team are always prompted to share their thoughts. 

To automate your feedback requests in Fellow, click on meeting settings, then go to the meeting feedback tab, and click “Request meeting feedback.” If a team member wants more in-depth feedback about a specific meeting, they’ll click the “+” button in the left-hand-side feedback section. They can then choose the meeting they want feedback on and add questions they want to ask for feedback. 

Give and get feedback as work happens

Share real-time feedback on meetings, projects, and performance with Fellow’s Feedback Feature to create a healthy and strong culture!

4Gather 360 feedback

360 feedback is an assessment that both employees and managers receive from multiple sources. For example, it may be beneficial for you to receive 360 feedback from everyone so you can give more effective feedback to your direct reports. To ask for 360 feedback in Fellow, click the “+” next to the feedback tab on the left-hand side. Then, click “360 feedback” and choose which questions you’d like to ask your team. 

If a team member would like to receive feedback from you and their peers, all you need to do is add their peers after you complete the above steps. Once you add whom you want the questionnaire delivered to, Fellow will send the requests, and you’ll receive their responses before you know it. 

5Focus on the facts

When you’re frustrated with a team member, it’s important to focus on the issue at hand and not let your feelings get in the way. For example, maybe a team member has clocked in late more often than not lately, causing them to delay meetings and fall behind on work. Instead of telling them that you’re upset with them, focus on how it affects your organization and team. 

You could say, “Lately, I’ve noticed that you’re coming in late. This delays our meetings since we need you to present and share updates.” Then, offer this team member a few suggestions on how they can better meet your expectations for being on time. 

6Write things down

Delivering feedback can be a bit nerve-wracking, especially when there’s constructive criticism involved. If you’re feeling a bit nervous or frustrated going into the meeting, you can jot down a few main points you’d like to go over. This way, you can stick to the facts and not let your nerves or feelings take the driver’s seat. 

7Listen to both sides of the story 

Before jumping to conclusions, give your team members the opportunity to explain their side of the story. Team members will likely admit if they messed up, or they may ask you for help. There’s also the possibility that they explain a situation that you might not be aware of, such as an issue involving multiple team members. 

8Focus on fixing the issue 

You’re giving feedback to solve an issue and help your team become the best they can be. Maybe you’ll need to offer productive criticism, provide regular feedback, or train a team member on new skills. Whichever route you go, make sure that it helps your team swiftly solve the problem. 

9Keep the conversation going by following up

Feedback isn’t just a one-and-done conversation. You should keep following up with your team members to see how they’re progressing. For example, if a team member struggles with deadlines, you might want to set a follow-up meeting a week or two after your initial meeting. This way, you can see how well they’re managing their workload while making strides to hit their deadlines. 

Give your team effective feedback with Fellow 

Sharing negative and positive feedback with your team can improve their performance. To give the best feedback, you’ll need a tool that gathers feedback and runs your meetings. With Fellow, you can request 360 feedback, automate your feedback requests, create meeting agendas, and take meeting notes. Building a successful and collaborative team has never been easier.

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