Truth is, delivering constructive feedback is not always easy. There's a distinct line between feedback and criticism, and oftentimes those giving feedback blur the lines. To be specific, feedback and the words you use may alter your feedback to sound more like criticism and negative.
But that’s A-OK! We’re here to help you adjust your tone, delivery, and overall message when giving constructive feedback to your team. Here are a few constructive feedback examples and responses you can use when going into your next feedback session.
But before beginning, check out our comprehensive guide to constructive feedback to get the rundown of all things feedbacks in the workplace.
Scenario: Alex has been a reliable professional at her company for the past two years, but recently she’s been distracted and missing her deadlines and deliverables. One way to approach this situation with Alex is to share your observations and creating an action plan together.
Example of constructive feedback: "Hey Alex, I know you’ve dedicated quite a bit of time here and we’ve appreciated all your hard work. However, I have noticed in the past couple of weeks that some deliverables haven’t been met. I know this is unlike you and I wanted to bring this issue up so I could better understand your perspective and support you."
Scenario: Jason always meets his deadlines, but sometimes there's lack of attention to detail. His work has mistakes. The game plan: Preface how he’s a valuable asset and highlight his superpowers. Then address the subpar deliverables.
Example of constructive feedback: "Thanks for all your work, Jason. We love your enthusiasm and positive attitude at work, it’s refreshing to work with you. Recently, we’ve noticed how you speed through tasks quicker than most of the team members that are incomplete or sloppy. I appreciate how you rarely turn in your work late, but let’s focus on trying to turn in quality work. For example, column H was completely blank on the Google Spreadsheet you shared with me yesterday. Even though you submitted it two days early, I had to take additional time to fill in that column. I would love to see you be more thorough and deliberate by taking time to review your work before submitting it."
Scenario: Zara is on the Customer Success team and is constantly in and out of demo calls. Since she’s in meetings, she’s recently forgotten to attend team meetings in the morning. It’s your job to emphasize the importance of attendance and communication.
Example of constructive feedback: “We love your tenacity and enthusiasm when you’re talking to customers and guiding them through our app. And we especially love the findings and insights you share with the team. It’s contagious and inspiring! We understand that hopping on these calls can be time-consuming, so I ask that you’re conscious of your other meetings. Specifically, the morning team meetings. We’ve missed you a couple of times, and I ask that you schedule these calls before or after our meetings. Or even communicate to us your schedule.”
Scenario: You’ve noticed that Amir’s mood has been off. From showing disrespectful attitudes to side comments and even getting complaints — it’s all negative. How you address the negativity is important because it could cause Amir to be on the defense, so base your feedback on observations.
Example of constructive feedback: "Hey Amir, I wanted to talk to you about some changes I’ve noticed in your behavior. I just wanted to check in because it seems like you’ve been unhappy, making side comments, ignoring folks, and displaying negative body language. Is there anything I could do to support you? I’m here to talk about anything that may be bothering you, and we can walk through any issue.”
Scenario: Eduardo is one of your star employees. He continues to exceed expectations, finish work on time, and seamlessly works independently. However, when it comes to group settings, Eduardo tends to shy away from group discussions or provide feedback.
Example of constructive feedback: “Eduardo, your ability to work in a fast-paced environment and turn in quality work is amazing, and we appreciate all your hard work. You’re focused and driven, and we wanted to show our appreciation. However, I’ve noticed that when it comes to working with others on the team, you tend to stay in the background and let others talk and share ideas. I would love to hear from you, whether it’s feedback or any kind of input. We value your opinion, so would you be able to contribute to our team meetings."
Scenario: For the past month, Natasha has been arriving to work late. She told her second week to come at the appropriate time for work so people didn’t have to wait for her during the morning team. Here’s your chance to call attention to this issue and understand the reasoning behind it. But more importantly, this is your opportunity to explain how and why her tardiness impacts the team’s workflow.
Example of constructive feedback: "Natasha, I’ve noticed you’ve been arriving later than usual to work. I am worried that you’ll miss important updates and information concerning upcoming deliverables. Not to mention, sometimes we have to wait for you and that’s time that spills into other’s time. We can get you caught up, but I ask that you arrive early or on time since your tardiness affects the team’s workflow. I’m here to come up with an action plan so you don’t miss future meetings. How does that sound?"