The Job Feedback Employees Want From You

By Elana Goodwin on October 15, 2015

For newly graduated college students, starting a job can be overwhelming, as for many it will be their first real experience working a full-time job – which makes giving job feedback to those employees even more important.

Job feedback can be given in a multitude of ways, so here are some suggestions on the best ways to offer feedback to employees.

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1. Be specific. When giving job feedback, it’s crucial as a boss to be specific when giving constructive criticism. Focus on particular tasks, actions, and projects, and be concise about what your employee did well or needs to work on.

If an employee was part of a group project, be sure not to make it seem as if you’re laying any blame or offering all the praise to that individual when offering feedback on the project. Also, make sure to frame things positively when telling staff members what you want them to work on or what you’d like to see from them going forward.

2. Meet one-on-one. Whenever you want to offer job feedback to an employee, always remember to meet one-on-one. It can be uncomfortable to be singled out for either a job well done or improvement, so be sure to schedule a meeting with each employee individually to give them feedback.

Of course, you can always congratulate your whole team or a few members of your staff who worked on a project or task in front of others, but try to avoid doing so for one specific person. Meeting one-on-one also enables your employee to speak more freely and give you feedback as well.

3. Don’t criticize. Criticizing someone as feedback isn’t constructive and will put your employee on the defensive and ensure they don’t want to listen to any of your suggestions.

Don’t make negative statements about the employee, and always focus on the person’s actions and efforts, rather than on their personality. Be diplomatic when giving job feedback and consider how you’d feel if a boss was giving you the same comments you are telling your employee.

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4. Act quickly. If you want to advise an employee to improve their performance or tell them they’re doing a good job, it’s best to do so immediately. If you wait a while or until a mid-year job review, chances are your employee may not even remember what you’re talking about and you may not remember what you wanted to address.

If there’s a problem, mention it right away so your employee can avoid making the same mistakes or do better on future tasks. Productive job feedback will be specific and timely.

5. Stay positive. Even if you have to give some negative job feedback, you want your employee to walk away from your meeting not feeling like they were just disparaged and that they’re doing a terrible job or everything wrong. Positive feedback makes employees more willing to instill any changes you may suggest they incorporate for the future and lets them know you recognize and appreciate what they’re doing right.

When you do need to offer negative or remedial feedback, follow up your comments with a suggestion for how they can correct whatever you’ve pointed out going forward. Don’t just say what they’re doing wrong – brainstorm with your employee solutions to fix this in the future and always end your feedback session on a positive note.

6. Ask for feedback. As you know from giving job feedback, feedback is important to ensure your workplace remains a productive environment and your employees understand their roles. Besides giving feedback though, it’s important to get feedback – even as a boss.

When meeting with an employee to offer review, make sure they know you’re also open to and would like feedback on how you’re doing as a boss. Do they feel you’ve given them too much work? Do they feel you’ve created a comfortable work environment? Do they feel you’re available to them and willing to take suggestions? How do they feel about your feedback? Enabling your employees to speak up and give you feedback will create a friendlier and more constructive workplace.

Following these six suggestions when giving job feedback will guarantee your employees – even newly graduated students – will be their most productive selves on the job and meet or exceed your expectations.

By Elana Goodwin

Uloop Writer
Ohio State
I am currently serving as the Director/Managing Editor for Uloop News. I've been part of the Uloop family since 2013 and in my current role, I recruit writers, edit articles, manage interns, and lead our National Team, among other duties. When I'm not writing or editing, I love being outside, reading, and photography! I have a Bachelor's degree in English with a double-minor in Sociology and Criminology & Criminal Justice from The Ohio State University. If you have questions or just want to chat, don't hesitate to reach out! Email me at elana@uloop.com.

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