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Empowering Employee Feedback: Mastering the Art of Giving and Receiving Constructive Feedback

  • By Sheldon Kawarsky
  • August 25, 2023

Employee Feedback Skills

In a fast-paced digital world, we often underestimate the power of employee feedback. Whether it’s in the form of regular performance reviews or quick conversations about personal growth, providing and embracing constructive feedback has become integral to improving overall success for both employers and their employees.

The key is mastering the art of giving and receiving this valuable information so that it can be used to drive individual and team goals. This blog post explores why giving employee feedback is essential to creating an effective business strategy and how leaders can use effective employee feedback techniques to empower their teams.

What Is Constructive Employee Feedback?

Constructive employee feedback is a way to provide employees with valuable insights that can help them improve their performance in the workplace. It’s all about giving specific, objective, and actionable feedback.

By providing employees with constructive feedback, managers can help them develop their skills, identify areas for improvement, and encourage employee development.

Benefits of Constructive Feedback in the Workplace

When employees know their managers are invested in their success and willing to provide constructive feedback, they are much more likely to feel valued and motivated. Below are some key benefits of employee feedback. 

  • Performance Improvement: Feedback that is both positive and constructive provides employees with specific and actionable information on how they can improve their work and what areas they need to focus on to become more successful.
  • Increased Self-Awareness: Constructive feedback also helps increase employees’ self-awareness and allows them to better understand their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Employee Motivation and Engagement: When employees are given honest and helpful feedback, it shows that management cares about them. This sense of care and support from management can help to increase employee motivation and engagement levels.
  • Continuous Learning and Growth: Constructive feedback allows employees the opportunity to learn from their mistakes, which encourages further growth opportunities within the company or organization as a whole.
  • Clearer Expectations and Goal Alignment: Giving constructive feedback in the workplace also helps set clearer expectations for both managers and employees while helping ensure goal alignment between all team members.
  • Employee Retention and Satisfaction: When an employee feels valued, respected, appreciated, supported, and encouraged, they are more likely to stay longer at an organization because they feel like they belong there.

How to Give Constructive Feedback

Providing constructive feedback is essential in any workplace, but conveying your thoughts without offending someone or coming off as invasive can be challenging. Feedback should be a two-way street; it’s not just about what you’re saying but how you’re saying it and how it is being received. The recipient needs to feel comfortable enough to accept your criticism and not feel attacked.

Here are some effective employee feedback techniques:

  • Be specific and objective
  • Choose the right time and place
  • Use the “sandwich” approach
  • Focus on behaviour, not personality
  • Be constructive and solution-oriented
  • Encourage two-way communication
  • Employ active listening
  • Follow-up and support
  • Maintain confidentiality 

How to Receive Constructive Feedback

On the other hand, knowing how to receive feedback communication is equally important. Remember that your colleagues and managers are not trying to criticize or put you down but rather help you improve. Try to remember these tips:

  • Maintain an open mindset
  • Listen actively
  • Control emotional reactions
  • Seek clarification
  • Avoid becoming defensive
  • Reflect and internalize
  • Ask for specifics and examples
  • Express appreciation
  • Create an action plan
  • Follow-up and seek support

How Soft Skills Training Helps Develop and Enhance Employee Feedback Skills

It’s essential for employees to have strong feedback skills to thrive and succeed, and one way to develop and enhance these skills is through soft skills training. Whether you’re a manager looking to improve employee motivation or an individual contributor seeking to boost your professional development, investing in corporate soft skills training can be a valuable and worthwhile endeavour. Soft skills training improves the following skills:

Communication Skills

Verbal communication involves speaking clearly and using language that is easy for others to understand, while non-verbal communication includes body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice. Employees can learn how to use these forms of communication to effectively convey their message and build trust with their colleagues.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence includes understanding how emotions affect our behaviour, being able to empathize with others, and being able to regulate our own emotions. By developing emotional intelligence, employees can better provide effective feedback without becoming overly emotional or reactive.

Active Listening

Being an active listener helps employees provide more meaningful feedback by ensuring that they understand the other person’s perspective before responding with their own opinions or advice.

Empathy and Perspective-Taking

Empathy and perspective-taking involve looking at a situation from multiple angles to better understand why someone may have acted or reacted as they did. This way of looking at the situation helps employees avoid making assumptions about people’s motives or intentions, which can lead to misunderstandings.

Conflict Resolution

Soft skills training can also help employees learn effective conflict resolution strategies, which are essential when providing feedback in a professional setting, as disagreements often arise between coworkers due to different perspectives on certain topics or tasks at hand.

Building Rapport and Trust

Building rapport allows coworkers to form strong working relationships, making it easier for them to work together effectively. Building trust ensures that everyone feels comfortable enough with each other that they are willing to share honest opinions without fear of judgement or repercussions from management.

Self-Awareness and Self-Reflection

Self-awareness helps employees stay mindful of their behaviour so they don’t act impulsively. Additionally, it allows individuals to recognize patterns in their behaviour so that they can modify it accordingly should it be necessary.

Leadership Skills

Soft skills training helps employees develop leadership skills such as problem-solving, decision-making, and delegation, which are all essential when providing effective employee feedback since leaders must be able to assess situations quickly and come up with solutions.

Join Our Corporate Soft Skills Training Workshops Today

Choosing the right soft skills training program for your employees is crucial to their success and the success of your business. At The Soft Skills Group (TSSG), our corporate soft skills training programs are designed to enhance your employees’ communication, leadership, and problem-solving abilities. With a focus on real-life scenarios and practical application, our programs are tailored to meet the unique needs of your business.

To see how TSSG can help you and your company develop effective employee feedback techniques, simply click below or contact us today to learn more or get a free consultation.

Sheldon Kawarsky

Sheldon has over 20 years of experience holding manager and director roles in the private and academic sectors, focusing on business development and fostering relationships with companies, universities, government organizations, and venture capitalists. His strength is in relationship building and clarifying the needs of clients to ensure their training maximizes their return on investment.