Giving feedback seems to be the key factor to boost your level of employee engagement. Why? It helps your team communicate in an open and easy way. It is also useful to identify blind spots and areas of improvement. This gets a bit harder when you have to tell your employees those specific points where they need to do better. Wouldn’t it be great to have a list of constructive feedback examples to help us put those awkward things to say, in kind and wise words?
Don’t worry, just keep calm and carry on the reading! We have gathered a list of 20 constructive feedback examples, but before getting our hands into it, first let’s clarify what we mean by constructive feedback.
What is constructive feedback?
Constructive feedback is a type of feedback which provides someone with suggestions or advice that will help them improve. But advice is often known for not being well received, mainly because people don’t know how to gather their thoughts in a proper way. This is why we have gathered a list of constructive feedback examples to be used as your muse!
In order to give meaningful constructive feedback, you need to be sure that the suggestions you are giving to your team will increase their productivity, performance or behavior. To achieve this, you will need to be specific, clear and offer good reasoning on why the behavior or action should be improved. The SBI feedback model and these constructive feedback examples will help you with it.
Be careful, don’t confuse positive with constructive feedback. While giving positive feedback you focus on the employees’ strengths, talents and accomplishments. Here are 35 positive feedback examples, which will help you reinforce to your employees what they are doing well. On the other hand, by providing constructive feedback you are trying to give advice to an employee or colleague in a way that will lead to improvements or corrections.
According to an EY Survey on Gen Z, 97% of respondents are receptive to receiving feedback on an ongoing basis or after completing a large project. 63% of them prefer to receive periodic constructive feedback throughout the year.
We understand that putting together the thoughts in your mind into words it’s a really tough task. That is why we have collected 20 constructive feedback examples, to help you and your employees learn how to give constructive feedback and boost your teams’ professional growth!
20 Constructive Feedback Examples
There are some situations where you may notice your employees need an extra push or a good and open talk to boost their work performance. Our list of constructive feedback examples turns around those situations, to give you a bite of inspiration.
1. Lacking performance
Great performance is the reflection of a motivated and engaged team. Sometimes this motivation can be affected by different internal and external factors that may not be easy to spot. What will actually be pretty obvious is the lack of performance of someone who usually is at their best. Letting them know your are noticing something is quite off, and that they have your support it’s a great way of giving constructive feedback.
“You have always been a great employee, and the quality of your work has been amazing since you joined us. However, I am concerned that your performance has been deteriorating for the past few weeks. Since we really value you and your work, I wanted to check in with you as to what may be going on. I would also like to offer my support in case you need it. I would love to help you get back on your feet.”
2. Turning in lower-quality work
When an employee turns in a project or task in record time, but with less quality than the usual put into their work, it’s a clear sign that constructive feedback is needed. Kindly approach them and make sure deadlines are understood and offer your help if needed. Here is one of our constructive feedback examples to be used in this type of awkward situation.
“I wanted to talk about your last assignments. I was very happy because you were very quick. However, I noticed the quality of your work wasn’t as expected, and we had to take more time to resolve the errors. I just wanted to assure you that you do not need to turn things in very early. Please review your work before sending it over so we can minimize corrections. I’d love to go over your work with you and help you review it if you need me to.”
3. Not participating
Have you noticed one of your employees seem disconnected during team meetings or they suddenly stopped participating? This might be an opportunity to have a chat to let them know they are a valuable member to the team and their ideas are always appreciated.
“You’re a great asset to the team and we are all very happy to have you here. But I have noticed you haven’t been participating in team meetings or team-building activities lately. I was wondering if there were any issues with work or the team that I could help with. I feel like participating more will help improve your relationship with the rest of the team.”
4. Being uncollaborative
Teamwork is a MUST in every organization. It is also true that some employees tend to be more independent than others. Even though you need to accept it, being independent doesn’t mean someone can’t be a team player. Reach out to these types of employees to reinforce the importance of being collaborative with your team with the following constructive feedback example. At the end, we are all aiming for the same objectives!
“I understand you’re very independent and have a very problem-solving attitude. However I feel like you could be more collaborative as a team. We all work together so it would be positive if you could work with us to resolve issues as a group, rather than working alone all the time. Please let me know if there are any issues you may be facing that could make collaboration a difficulty.”
5. Missing a meeting
Team meetings are very important to discuss new projects, take important decisions and be sure everyone is on the same page. Your employees must be aware of it. Furthermore, you need to let them know you appreciate their ideas and inputs. Make them feel that their absence is noticed and how it affects the meeting purpose.
“I know you are passionate about your role, and it shows in the work you do. However, it has come to my attention that you missed our last meeting. Team meetings are important to discuss our progress and future actions, as well as important decisions. Plus, I feel like your input would have been very beneficial. I would really appreciate it if you could attend these meetings. If the timing does not work for you, please let us know and we will be happy to reschedule so you can attend as well.”
6. Having a negative attitude
Being always in a good mood it’s almost impossible. That doesn’t mean it can be an excuse to have a bad attitude at work. When this happens try to reach out to your employee and explain why this kind of behavior affects the entire team. Also, try to give them a hand and show willingness to support, in case they are going through any kind of personal situation. Let them know you are here for them!
“Although your work is great, I’m afraid your attitude feels discouraging at times. I feel like your comments make me and the team uncomfortable, and I hope we can work together to solve our relationship. It’s important to work as a team, and your attitude is currently jeopardizing us. If you’re comfortable, I’d love to have a chat with you about why this may be happening and resolve this issue together.”
7. Not reaching goals
If someone is struggling with reaching their KPIs, it might be a sign of work overload, personal issues or even burnout. Here is one of our constructive feedback examples you can use in a 1:1 meeting. Ask your employee what is affecting their performance and if there is something you might help with.
“I really enjoyed our chat last month, and I saw you were very motivated about your development. However, I can see you didn’t reach all your goals this month. Do you think there were any roadblocks in the way? I was hoping to offer some assistance and talk about maybe taking on fewer responsibilities so you can reach all your goals in the next few weeks.”
8. Arriving late
Being punctual is a matter of good manners, so there should be no reason for not being on time for work or meetings. Talk to that employee who is always late. Give them a reminder on the importance of being on time.
“I wanted to talk to you because I’ve noticed you’ve been doing great work, but I feel like you could achieve more if you arrived earlier at the office. We all usually arrive at this time, so I was hoping you could be with us to work more effectively as a team. I feel like arriving earlier will also help you leave earlier and achieve a better work-life balance.”
9. Lacking skills
There is always room for improvement, right? Don’t be afraid to tell an employee they can do better by developing a specific skill, take the opportunity to let them know you care about their professional growth. Here is a constructive feedback example you can use, so you don’t make your employees feel they are unprepared, but on the contrary, the company and the team are here to help them succeed.
“I appreciate your work and I know you make an effort to turn in great assignments. However I have noticed you might need some support in these skills. I think working on these skills anyway will help you further your development and career in the future. Do you think we could set up a training path for you to master these as soon as possible? Please let me know if there are any roadblocks I can help with.”
10. Not developing as expected
Before making any permanent decision when an employee is not developing as expected, you should approach and offer a hand to give that extra push which might be missing.
“We are so glad to have you here and you have grown a lot since you first joined us. But I’ve noticed you haven’t been developing these skills as I would have hoped. Are there any obstacles I can help you get through? Maybe we could look at these skills more closely and set up meetings to follow up your development. Do you think we could meet weekly? Please let me know if we should modify your training or arrange more sessions.”
11. Experiencing poor communication skills
Following on the skills improvement constructive example, if an employee needs training on developing their communication skills, let them know that the company is willing to help. This is a good opportunity to use one of our constructive feedback examples and show your team how important their professional growth is to the company.
“I know you’re a truly hardworking person and that is inspiring. However I think that something that would help you in your career is improving your communication skills. It could help you when applying to future jobs or promotions. I wanted to offer my support in helping you achieve this goal. We could set up some training and a roadmap for your development. Please let me know if I can help you with any obstacles.”
12. Struggling with time management
If a team member is having problems with deadlines, kindly approach and give them the opportunity to explain their situacion. Maybe it is a matter of work overload?
“The quality of your work is always great and I appreciate you taking the time to do things well. However, I can see you’ve missed a few deadlines in the past weeks. I was wondering if maybe we could speed up your processes so we could have things on time, or if it may be an issue with your workload. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help you manage your time and your workload better.”
13. Failing to problem-solve
When your employees know you got their back, stress will be reduced and motivation will increase. So, if you notice an employee is having some trouble with their daily work, offer assistance. In the end it is all about teamwork!
“I know you’re truly passionate about your work and I love seeing your growth. However I feel like you’ve been getting caught up in some roadblocks that may be delaying your work. Could I offer some assistance? I was hoping we could work together to resolve this issue and give you the tools to smoothly solve future challenges.”
14. Decreasing productivity
Decreasing productivity might be a sign of work disengagement. According to a research made by Zippia about feedback, 69% of employees say they would work harder if they felt their efforts were being recognized through feedback.
So, if suddenly one of your team members lowers their performance, take a moment to have a nice chat. Ask if there is any kind of problem and how you can help to get them back on track. This will increase their employee engagement without a doubt.
“We are really happy to have you and the quality of your work is always exceptional. Nevertheless, I have noticed your productivity seems to be decreasing lately and it’s delaying deadlines. I was wondering if something may be going on that I am not aware of? I would like to offer my support if so, and I hope that we can find a solution together so you can get back on track soon.”
15. Lacking emotional intelligence
Respect and kindness are two values which can’t be forgotten in your company culture. If an employee happens to be out of line, let them know that is normal for conflict to emerge, but that knowing how to properly behave and control during those situations is key for team harmony. Here is one of our constructive feedback examples which will help in this type of situation.
“I understand you were frustrated this morning during our meeting, however your comments sounded sarcastic and disrespectful. It’s important to respect and try to understand each other during conflict. If you feel comfortable, do you think we could talk about your reaction and how we can be more respectful moving forward?.”
16. Struggling with teamwork
Giving a little reminder to your employees on the importance and benefits of teamwork any now and then will facilitate collaboration, mainly to those who like “working solo”.
“I appreciate your independence and I know you work very well alone. However, we are a team and I’ve noticed you don’t participate a lot in teamwork. Working in teams helps us bring in new ideas and achieve bigger results. I think working alongside your teammates will help better your relationship and improve your skills. Please let me know if there is anything keeping you from participating that I can help with.”
17. Ignoring feedback
Giving constructive feedback not only helps your company grow, but it also boosts your team performance and helps their professional growth. Be sure everyone understands and sees feedback as a win – win, so they are more likely to take your suggestions into consideration.
“I love how independent you are and I understand you have your own ways of completing tasks. However, I noticed you did not implement the feedback we gave you. As a team, it’s important our work is aligned, so I think our notes will help your work achieve this. Please let me know if there is anything you don’t agree with so we can evaluate it and come to a conclusion together.”
18. Leaving unfinished tasks
Make sure everyone on your team understands the importance of deadlines, and how a delay may affect someone else’s work or even will jeopardize the entire project! Of course offering your help in case it is a workload issue, will increase motivation.
“I’ve noticed you’ve been leaving your tasks unfinished at the end of the day. We work on deadlines, so in order to reach them all, I would need you to finish everything before you leave. Do you think you could do this? Please let me know if there is an issue with your workload, and I will be happy to help and accommodate you.”
19. Not managing reports well
Being a good leader requires having great communication with your team and being on top of what is going on. So if a manager is not 100% aware of their team situation, offer them guidance and training to improve their management skills.
“When I promoted you as a manager, I knew you had great potential. However, I’ve noticed your team has been mismanaged lately. Your employees have reported feeling a bit lost. So I think you would thrive with some management training lessons. I’ve also arranged weekly meetings so we can talk about your development and support you in anything you need.”
Constructive feedback is not only meant for employees! You, as a leader, need to be open on receiving feedback and suggestions that will help you boost your work performance. We give you a constructive feedback example any manager may receive if you tend to oversee your team a little more than is actually necessary.
“I like feeling accomplished with the tasks I complete. However I’m concerned that we are wasting both our time with reports for all the completed tasks that you ask. It takes time away that I could otherwise utilize on completing the rest of my projects. Would it be possible if I could turn in a monthly or weekly report of my tasks instead?”
Best way to give feedback at work
Now that we have given you 20 constructive feedback examples to be used in different situations, we want to help as well with a few tips for giving useful constructive feedback to your team.
- Be clear: make sure you don’t leave space for any different conclusion than the one you are aiming to. With a clearer understanding of the impact of their actions, your employees will feel more motivated to improve.
- Be specific: while giving constructive feedback you need to talk about specific situations, behavior, and the impact they have on the company. This is a way to ensure that your employee understands why you are giving them feedback and what to do with it.
- Be encouraging: If you want to motivate your team, you have to show them you care about their skills development. This is why receiving constructive feedback needs to be seen as a way for improvement and professional development. It can’t sound like negative criticism.
- Offer your help: Remember that being supportive with your team is a key factor for employee engagement. Always leave the door open in case your employees need to ask you for an extra hand.
- Consider whether your feedback is just an opinion/subjective: This is why, while giving constructive feedback, you need to be clear and specific on the situation and behavior. Don’t forget to mention how that behavior impacted teams’ harmony. This way you don’t leave room for subjectivity.
In case you need any more guidance here is a podcast about How to give and receive meaningful employee feedback.
How to improve employee engagement by giving constructive feedback
As we have mentioned, giving constructive feedback helps with the development of your company by increasing employee performance. If you help your team with their professional growth, how wouldn’t their motivation and employee engagement increase? But in order to see this great benefit, you need to be sure the feedback your team is receiving is meaningful and actionable.
An employee engagement software that helps you set up a feedback culture might be the ally you were looking for. This is why we present Nailted, a tool which ensures feedback becomes part of regular workflows, and introduces it in a way that’s convenient and non-intrusive.
Nailted doesn’t just offer you a hand on collecting feedback. It helps you become a more valuable HR team by sending periodic eNPS surveys, keeping updated people analytics and making employee recognition part of your culture as well!
Book a demo with one of our team experts on People and Culture and watch for yourself how with frequent feedback loops (which by now you will have a lot of inspiration with these constructive feedback examples), you and your managers will always have your people’s pulse and a more aligned company!