March 6, 2024 in Articles

Tips for Giving Actionable Feedback to Employees

One of the best ways for your employees to grow into indispensable assets for your organization is through the guidance and feedback of more experienced members of your team. However, not all feedback is useful. In fact, poorly delivered feedback can have the opposite of its intended effect. 

As a leader of your organization, you need to be careful about the guidance you provide your team. It may not take much to cause irreparable damage to your relationships during employee reviews. That’s why you should make a concerted effort to understand the difference between actionable feedback and detrimental criticism. To better understand that distinction, take a look at this quick guide.

What Is Actionable Feedback?

Actionable feedback provides clear, specific, measurable, relevant, realistic, and timely advice for improvement. It offers your employees clarity about where they’re going wrong and the information necessary to right the ship.

How to Provide Effective Actionable Feedback

Here are some tips for you to bring to your next employee reviews so you can make sure to provide the kind of actionable feedback that can make a difference.

Be Prepared

Actionable feedback requires specific detail, useful examples, and clear instructions. If you don’t carefully consider your delivery, you’re likely to miss at least one of those three markers, if not all of them.

Start With Positivity

Walking into an employee review is something that a large number of your team members are likely to be at least a little nervous about. They need constructive criticism to grow, but they also need encouragement. Start by offering them some praise and then move on to the things that need improvement.

Offer Actionable Advice

When something is actionable that means it can be acted upon. Your employees will improve and progress far quicker when you provide them with clear instructions on how to do so. In other words, don’t just say, “You need to do better.” Instead, tell them exactly how to do better.

Foster a Two-Way Connection

Consistently delivering one-ended feedback is poor communication. Encourage your employees to share their perspectives and be open to dialogue. This promotes a collaborative environment and frames feedback as a tool for mutual growth.

Don’t Be Vague

Leaving your employees to interpret or problem-solve on their own is never a good idea when it comes to employee reviews. If they already had the information they needed, there would be no need for feedback in the first place. This is why your feedback should always be as specific and full of clear examples as possible.

Don’t Pile on Criticism

People tend to get defensive when they feel overly criticized. If you’re offering feedback to an employee and your delivery is full of negative criticism, you’re likely damaging the communication channel between the two of you. Balance the necessary criticism at employee reviews with positivity and encouragement, and you should see far better results.

Don’t Offer Feedback Publicly

Public feedback can feel like shaming, and it’s not likely to be well received. Make sure to offer your thoughts in a private setting.

Be Timely and Relevant

If you’re providing feedback on something that occurred long ago and there’s no way to fix the issue, there’s no need to provide feedback. It’s also important to keep a little space between an incident and the feedback you provide so that there’s greater clarity about it on both ends.

Be as Objective as Possible

We’re only human, which means total objectivity is difficult. Still, there are ways to remove your feelings and opinions from your feedback, and doing so will always make that feedback more effective. Offer something measurable or observable rather than something interpretive.

Provide Feedback Consistently and Frequently

One of the most important aspects of offering feedback is following up with your employees on it with timeliness and consistency. You don’t want to wait months to let them know if they’ve improved, but you should also avoid providing feedback too often, as that can become overwhelming for them.

Learn More About Actionable Feedback With AssetHR

AssetHR can help you improve your employee reviews so your organization can continue meeting and beating its goals. Contact us today to learn more.