Feedback: How to effectively give and implement evaluations in practice - YourCX

Feedback: How to effectively give and implement evaluations in practice


Want to learn how to use feedback effectively to develop and support personal and professional development? This article will help you understand what makes feedback valuable and what techniques you and company can use to make it effective. Learn the best practices for sharing feedback and use them to enhance you in your work.


  • Feedback is essential for effective communication and personal and professional development, and we distinguish between positive feedback (motivating) and negative feedback (indicating areas for improvement).

  • Effective feedback requires constructiveness, precision, honesty and empathy, as well as proper timing and tact

  • For the feedback process to be effective, it is necessary to analyze the situation, lead a focused conversation, discuss a plan for improvement, and skillfully respond to the feedback received, as well as encourage mutual support within the team.

What is feedback and why is it important?

Person receives feedback

Feedback is a key element in the work environment, enabling open communication and enabling us to understand how our actions affect our behavior to others. Positive feedback comes from our strengths and achievements, while negative, feedback occurs and points to areas that need improvement. The importance of feedback is undeniable for the effective functioning of a team.

Receiving regular feedback enables us to become more aware of our own strengths and weaknesses, as well as the ways in which we are perceived by others. This understanding is crucial to our self-development and helps us identify and achieve professional, business and personal goals. What's more, feedback has an impact on our motivation and productivity, increasing our commitment and willingness to make changes to improve performance further.

Feedback drives positive change in business. It can have many benefits in the business in many forms - be quantitative feedback that gives general perception and qualitative feedback that give valuable information about reasons of decisions.

Principles of giving effective feedback

Person gives feedback

Giving feedback is a process that requires tact, empathy and precision. It is crucial that the feedback is constructive, focusing on specific behaviors rather than the person's characteristics. In addition, proper timing and context can make a significant difference in the effectiveness of the message.

In the following subsections, we will discuss these aspects in more detail.


Constructive feedback between employees

Constructive feedback is feedback that supports an employee's development by offering solutions and opportunities for improvement, rather than merely criticizing. This is key to keeping employees motivated and engaged. To make feedback constructive, you can use the Situation-Behavior-Impact (SBI) model, which helps you accurately present feedback by giving specific examples of behavior and their impact. The SBI model focuses on three main components: Situation (describes when and where the observed behavior took place), Behavior (describes the specific actions or statements of the person to whom the feedback relates) and Impact (describes the effect of the behavior on the work, team or project). Using this model, the person giving feedback can identify exactly what specific actions had a positive or negative impact on work performance, making it easier for the recipient to understand and accept the feedback. In this way, feedback becomes more objective, measurable and focused on development, rather than on evaluating the person himself.

It is important to avoid the so-called "criticism sandwich," where criticism is surrounded by praise. Such a method can lead to an unclear message and an inadequate understanding of the goals and benefitsof feedback. Instead, it is good practice to express high expectations and belief in the developmental capabilities of the recipient of the feedback, which enhances motivation to make changes.

Precision and detail

Precision is part of effective feedback

Precision and specificity are other key elements of effective feedback. Feedback should be based on specific examples and suggestions, focusing on behaviors rather than on a person's characteristics. Avoiding absolute phrases such as "always" or "never" will allow more precise presentation of issues that need improvement.

The detail of the feedback is essential not only for the person giving it, but also for the recipient. Specificity of input helps to understand what exactly is the problem and what actions should be taken in the short term to improve the situation. This can include various aspects of work, from how problems are solved to motivation to productivity.

Honesty and empathy

Empathy is part of giving effective feedback

Honesty and empathy are two other essential elements of giving effective feedback. They mean that feedback should be given with respect for the recipient's feelings and with concern for maintaining a positive atmosphere of cooperation. Nonviolent Communication (NVC) as a method of communication is based on empathetic reception of the message and sincere self-expression, which promotes the development of empathy.

Sincere feedback can create deeper and more satisfying relationships, provided the communication is honest. Feedback must be shown in a respectful and supportive manner by communicating with empathy, honesty and openness, avoiding offending feelings.

Tact and appropriate timing

It's not just the quality of the content, but also the tact and choice of when to give feedback that is key. The best time to give feedback is immediately after noticing a situation. The longer you wait, the more difficult it may be for an employee to recall the details of the situation being discussed.

Using the "Start, Stop, Continue" model at the right time and in the right context can improve the effectiveness of the feedback and help avoid making the recipient feel attacked. Keep in mind, however, that it is always a good idea to think about the appropriate time and place to give feedback, so that it is a situation that is comfortable for both parties.

Positive vs. negative feedback

Differences between positive and negative feedback

Both positive and negative feedback have their place in the work environment and both can contribute much value to employee development strategies. However, it is important to understand the differences between the value of the two and know how to evaluate and use them effectively, especially in the case of positive feedback.

In the following subsections, we will take a closer look at these two types of feedback.

Positive feedback

Positive feedback focuses on employees' strengths, talents and achievements. Expressing appreciation for effort, good attitude or excellent leadership, as well as recognizing exceptional work, achieving goals and actively bringing new ideas is extremely important to keep employees motivated and engaged. It is also worth remembering to use kind words that can further emphasize positive feedback.

Building an atmosphere of trust is also a key element of positive feedback. Emphasizing high expectations and expressing confidence in the capabilities and skills of the recipient of positive feedback, for example, as well as strategies such as establishing programs to recognize and reward employees for achievements, contributes to building an atmosphere of trust, which is important in the feedback process.

Negative feedback

Negative feedback, although often painful for the recipient, is essential for development and improvement. It points out areas that need improvement, allowing for corrective information and action to be taken. However, it is important to give constructive criticism, in a constructive and helpful manner, while offering possible corrective information and ways to improve.

When communicating negative feedback, it is crucial to take into account the tendency of recipients to experience negative information more strongly than positive information. That's why it's so important to tailor communication to minimize the potential negative impact. The principle of the so-called "sandwich" can be helpful here, but keep in mind that negative feedback should always be given in private to protect the employee from demotivation and negative perception from the team.

The process of giving feedback - step by step

People talking

Feedback is not just giving information, it is a process that requires analysis, planning and the right approach. In the following subsections, we will look at the steps informed decisions that need to be taken in order to make the customer feedback process effective and enable feedback to be given in an efficient manner.

Analyze the situation

The first step in the feedback process is to analyze the situation. Preparing a list of specific behaviors or work results that need attention is critical to the effectiveness of the entire process. The use of the Situation-Behavior-Impact (SBI) model will help to accurately present the feedback, giving specific examples of behavior and their impact.

In addition, it is useful to gather additional information and data that can help understand the context and details of the behavior, event or performance. Checking the most recent event or performance evaluation can be helpful in determining whether any preventive actions were previously taken against identified problems.

Conducting the interview

The next step is to conduct a conversation. During a focused conversation, present feedback formally. It is important to focus these conversations exclusively on identifying the topic. Leaving space for responses protects against introducing a nervous atmosphere and allows the other party to hear your input and respond.

Being able to discuss and share insights is important for the employee. It is also important to express your commitment to the employee's development during the feedback conversation, encouraging feedback. Progress meetings should be held regularly and on time to emphasize their importance and the manager's commitment to learning.

Discuss the improvement plan

The final step informal feedback is to discuss the improvement plan. Effective feedback should focus on future actions and development opportunities to motivate change and improve performance. The final improvement plan intended for the employee requires the joint agreement of the employee, the manager and the approval of the HR department.

The improvement plan should include specific, measurable goals (SMART), details of current performance gaps and proposed implementation dates. The plan should include information about the support system or services that the manager commits to provide to the employee, including additional resources, training or coaching.

How to respond to the feedback received?

Woman reading

Receiving feedback and learning can, in most cases, be as difficult as giving it. It is important to show gratitude when receiving feedback and learning, thanking for the information provided and keeping an open mind.

When responding to feedback, especially negative feedback, it is crucial to avoid hasty actions, give yourself time to think and use emotion management techniques. Regularly asking for feedback and openly discussing errors and feedback received builds trust and professional relationships, and allows for constructive dialogue and tracking of progress toward improvement.

Support colleagues in giving and receiving feedback

In the context of the work environment, giving input and receiving feedback is a task for the company and entire team. All team members can support each other in this process, creating an open and effective environment for sharing opinions and ideas.

Encouraging professional development, being transparent in presenting the company's performance, strategy and future plans, and adhering to ethical and socially responsible practices in the company and organizational culture are just some of the actions that can foster employee trust and promote openness in giving feedback.

What tools can help when collecting feedback?

 Narzędzia badawcze wspierające feedback

A variety of survey tools can help in the process of collecting feedback from employees, which enable feedback to be collected and analyzed in a structured and systematic way. There are both anonymous surveys, which guarantee employees full discretion and can encourage more candid responses, and non-anonymous surveys, which allow feedback to be directly assigned to a specific employee, which can be useful in individual analysis of development needs. Specialized survey platforms such as YourCX offer users a wide range of survey configuration options, including the choice of anonymous or open form, allowing organizations to better tailor feedback collection methods to their employees and customers' needs and expectations.

Additionally, YourCX allows for automatic categorization of open-ended statements, you can learn more here.


Feedback is a hugely important tool in the work environment for development at both the individual and team levels. However, it is crucial that feedback is always given in a constructive manner, with empathy, precision and appropriate timing. Remember that feedback is not just criticism, but first and foremost feedback to support development and improvement. Therefore, it is always worth approaching the topic of feedback with an open mind, ready to learn and grow.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do we need feedback?

Feedback is important because it helps us motivate ourselves to do more research and improve our solutions. However, remember to focus on constructive feedback instead different methods of criticizing for past behavior, for example, which may discourage further action.

How do you give someone feedback?

When you give feedback, base your statements on facts and concrete examples. Ask the employee questions to create a two-way communication to provide feedback. Be open to his/her insights customer feedback, perspective and point of view.

What does effective feedback consist of?

Effective feedback involves providing more positive feedback than negative comments to motivate action and correct mistakes. It is also important that the feedback is balanced, containing both positive and negative elements to avoid offending the recipient. Therefore, feedback should be given as soon as possible after the behavior occurs.

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