How Feedback Shapes Employee Performance

5 Mins

As a manager, you need to give out both praise and criticism.

While praise is easy, criticism can be challenging and unpleasant. It’s your responsibility, however, to help employees improve. To do that, you'll occasionally need to give negative feedback.

But how and when you give constructive criticism is crucial.

Negative feedback has a big impact use it wisely.

Think twice about whether a mistake really requires negative feedback. A minor mistake may not warrant putting your employees in a bad mood.

Communication is key. If you provide minor revisions to something an employee wrote, for example, make it clear that they are merely suggestions. You don’t want to inadvertently criticize the overall job they did.

When an employee’s performance falters enough that feedback is necessary, soften the blow of your criticism by delivering it in private.

Good performance, on the other hand, should be praised at every opportunity — publicly. Too often, managers neglect to thank employees for their hard work and commitment. Giving praise is easy, so offer it generously!

Let's Practice:

Johnny overlooked a big typo in the deck he prepared for a client. Rupal, his boss, has decided that the mistake is consequential enough that she needs to address it with him.

How should she proceed?

Quiz 1 of 1

How should Rupal proceed in giving Johnny negative feedback?

Rupal should reprimand Johnny in front of the client.
Rupal should just ignore it – it was a big mistake but she’s confident he won’t do it again.
Rupal should give her negative feedback to Johnny in private.
Rupal should give Johnny negative and positive feedback publicly.

The correct answer is C.

Rupal, having decided that the mistake warranted giving Johnny negative feedback, should be sure to do so in private.


As a manager, you need to be cognizant of how your feedback can affect your team. So use criticism thoughtfully and deliberately — when an error truly warrants it.

Lesson complete