The Results Are In: What’s the Most Effective Way to Give Feedback?

RL04-13-2016In March, we asked our readers what they believe is the most effective way to give feedback. Not surprisingly, the top response by far was “One-on-one” with 89% of the votes. In second place was “In a group of peers” with 5%, followed by “Anonymously” at 3% and “Via email/text/phone” at just over 1%.

Another 2% of respondents selected the “Other” option and submitted their own ideas on the most effective way to give feedback, including:

  • All of the above, dependent on the type of feedback
  • Have a feedback box in a general location
  • Varies by situation and employee

Read the Situation
It’s probably not breaking news to most people that “one-on-one” was overwhelmingly considered the most effective way to give feedback. But that doesn’t mean it’s always the best. It’s important to match the right kind of feedback to the situation.

For example, if an employee does an exemplary job on a big project, it may be more effective to give them feedback publicly, in front of their peers. In a recent Refresh Leadership poll, we asked our readers what they believe to be the biggest drivers of employee disengagement—one of the top answers was “lack of recognition for achievements.” A few encouraging words of recognition for a job well done in front of peers can go a long way toward ensuring your employees feel their work is valued, which helps keep them engaged.

Negative feedback, however, is most often better received in a one on one setting. It could potentially be a difficult conversation, and not one that the person receiving the feedback would want unfolded in a group setting. Negative feedback should also be constructive. Nurture an environment where you are able discuss issues in an open and honest manner. And focus less on calling out negative aspects of the feedback and more on action steps to address it.

Feedback—whether positive or negative—is an important part of building a strong, productive team. What are some ways you foster constructive feedback in your workplace? How do you approach giving an employee negative feedback? Let us know in the comments section below.

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  1. The Art of Giving and Receiving Feedback at Work - Lindsey Pollak - February 24, 2017

    […] “It’s probably not breaking news to most people that “one-on-one” was overwhelmingly considered the most effective way to give feedback. But that doesn’t mean it’s always the best. It’s important to match the right kind of feedback to the situation. For example, if an employee does an exemplary job on a big project, it may be more effective to give them feedback publicly, in front of their peers. … A few encouraging words of recognition for a job well done in front of peers can go a long way toward ensuring your employees feel their work is valued, which helps keep them engaged.” — Read more at Refresh Leadership. […]

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