No employee or company does everything right all the time, but it’s impossible to improve without a clear idea of what is wrong. Giving constructive criticism to employees and soliciting constructive criticism from them is critical in improving company operations.

However, making critiques isn’t easy for anyone. Sometimes, managers can be too negative and end up hurting employee morale rather than improving their performance. Employees often don’t take satisfaction surveys seriously and can feel intimidated bringing criticism to their superiors.

Tips for how to make feedback in the office more constructive.

  1. Be specific. Generalized feedback is easy to ignore and undermine. The more specific a critique, the more likely someone is to remember it and the easier it will be to apply to a real-life situation. Focus feedback on situations that really happened, not imaginary future scenarios.
  2. Don’t forget about positive feedback. Not all feedback should be negative. It’s important to make sure that success is recognized so that it can be replicated. Positive feedback doesn’t have to be given through a formal channel. It can be as simple as a friendly, “Hey, great job on that report.”
  3. Be straightforward. All feedback should be concise, straightforward, and clear. Don’t pepper criticism with positive feedback to make it seem nicer. That can end up just confusing the issue. Make sure that all feedback is laid out in the simplest way possible.
  4. Be timely. Don’t wait for an issue to pass and blow over before delivering feedback. The more time that passes after an incident, the more time a person has to repeat it. Late feedback loses its impact and urgency.
  5. Train employees. Employees should know who they can turn to when things aren’t going right. If they feel intimidated, they may never come forward with feedback. Train employees to recognize the situations where they can deliver feedback and teach them what qualities make that feedback constructive and not destructive. Emphasize the importance of employee engagement surveys, and be sure employees know that their voices are being heard.
  6. Train managers. Managers should set an example for other employees by giving constructive feedback. The manager should be the one to set the tone for all employees with how they address problems and deliver praise. In order to achieve this, managers need training on how to give feedback and a clear understanding of their roles in the company’s purpose and goals.

Creating a culture that supports constructive feedback can be difficult, but LBMC Employment Partners can help. To learn more about how LBMC EP can help your company, contact us today.