Continuous Feedback in the Workplace: Everything You Need to Know

We answer all your questions on continuous feedback in this article. From frequency and best practices to integrating feedback with reward decisions and much more


min read

Most organizations today are in the midst of adopting a continuous feedback approach to improve employee performance and organizational success. If you have joined this bandwagon, you would have several questions in your mind around the same. Questions around the best practices, the common pitfalls, duration and frequency and much more. 

To help you leverage the continuous feedback framework, we have compiled a list of all the questions you might have along with answers from industry experts. 

#Q1. What is the frequency and duration of reviews for continuous feedback?

When it comes to continuous feedback, the idea is to make the reviews short and regular. Instead of making it a long drawn annual process, try to offer reviews which are frequent and to the point. The reviews can be as frequent as daily or weekly or monthly. 

PRO-TIP — Under continuous feedback, instead of focusing on a pre-decided timeline and frequency for reviews, go for an approach where you give your employees review and feedback when the need arises. 

For instance, if you have inputs or suggestions on the way a particular task has been completed, share it with your team members in real time instead of waiting for the review cycle to commence. 

Also, keep your reviews and suggestions concise and don’t elongate them just for the sake of it. Set the context and share your inputs. Therefore, when continuous feedback is concerned, the best frequency is to offer feedback in real time and keep it crisp and action oriented. 

#Q2. What are the best practices to ensure effectiveness of continuous feedback?

If you are part of a fast growing organization, you need to ensure that you adopt an effective and evidence-based approach to continuous feedback. Providing reviews and feedback to your employees in real time can be a great starting point. However, it is not enough to create a culture where continuous feedback contributes to continuous performance improvement

Here are the top best practices you can leverage to augment the effectiveness of your continuous feedback focus:

1. Track progress regularly

Continuous feedback will only lead to better performance when you have a clear picture of the employee's progress. If you don’t know where your employee stands and in which direction they are moving, you will not have anything concrete to share in your frequent conversations. Therefore, it is important to constantly track the progress of your employees and provide them with appropriate timely feedback. 

2. Encourage dialogue

Your continuous feedback will only be effective if you promote and encourage dialogue. Simply sharing your inputs and feedback on a regular basis with your employees will not suffice. Rather, you need to encourage your employees to share their side of the story as well as voice challenges and provide feedback to you as well. This way, continuous feedback will ensure that a culture of improvement comes to the forefront. 

3. Gauge employee pulse

To make continuous feedback effective, you need to have insights and intel on employee perceptions and opinions in real time. This will help you to preempt risks and address challenges in real time by providing appropriate feedback and support. You can do so by conducting employee pulse surveys which can go out on a daily basis. This employee pulse can help you lay the foundation of actions of your managers with empowering feedback. 

QUICK READ — Check out these articles to learn how to make the most of your employee pulse surveys —

4. Leverage technology

Finally, one of the key aspects to augment the effectiveness of continuous feedback is to ensure consistency and continuity. As a fast growing organization, you might be swamped with a lot of other priorities and continuous feedback might take a back seat. 

Here, leveraging a platform like SuperBeings which can automate capturing employee pulse, sharing key insights and providing next steps for managers and guided templates for conversations can help maintain the momentum. Therefore, you must consider leveraging the right tools and resources to stay on track. 

Get a hands on experience on how SuperBeings can drive continuous feedback in your organization, book a free demo today.

#Q3. How can fast growing organizations embed ongoing feedback in their flow of work?

As mentioned above also, to make continuous feedback effective, you need to have a consistent approach. One of the best ways to achieve the same is by embedding continuous feedback in the very culture of the organization. The idea is to see it as a part of the flow of work, rather than an added responsibility. 

Here are a few ways to embed ongoing feedback into flow of work:

1. Focus on constructive conversations

To begin with, you need to focus on conducting constructive conversations regularly. When it comes to continuous feedback, it is not always about sharing with your employees where they can improve. It is equally about sharing some insights with them and learning from them how they feel and how work is going, what are the challenges they face etc. 

Therefore, if you focus your efforts towards ensuring regular constructive conversations as a part of your workday, feedback continuity will be taken care of. Here you can also focus on creating a culture where 1:1 conversations are a norm. 

Use a tool like SuperBeings to provide your managers with AI driven 1:1 meeting recommendations, conflict free time slots for 1:1 meetings whenever they need and guided templates for all crucial conversations.

SuperBeings Guide Templates Page

2. Build a cadence

It is important that you set a cadence with all your team members. It could be weekly, fortnightly or monthly, depending on the role and responsibilities and the relationship you share with them. 

While you must offer feedback in real time, this cadence will become a part of your schedule to ensure that even when there is no apparent review to offer, you do connect with your employees on a regular basis, without it becoming an added burden. 

When it is there in your calendar, it will be a part of your tasks for the day, and will not require any extra effort. SuperBeings integrates with your favorite calendar based on your feedback needs and helps you find conflict-free meeting slots with any one or more of your team members.

SuperBeings Google Calendar integration

3. Make feedback a core value

Next, you must focus on making feedback a core value for your organization. You would agree that for most organizations, there are certain values which are very important and can be seen being practiced by almost every employee. You need to make feedback one of the values. 

If you are able to do so, continuous feedback will come as second nature to everyone in the team and will become part of the day to day expectations, rather than an added one. 

#Q4. Performance Reviews vs. Continuous Feedback: How to keep them separate?

If you are moving towards a continuous feedback approach, you might gradually realize that your regular ongoing reviews are replacing your performance reviews. There is often this challenge that most organizations face. 

However, it is extremely important to keep the two as distinct because while the former focuses on real time challenges and concerns, it does not offer a holistic picture of the employee’s performance and will not be enough to assign appraisals, long term rewards and career planning

Fortunately, there are a few ways in which the distinction between the two can be maintained and you can prevent continuous reviews from engulfing performance reviews:

1. Set dates for annual/bi-annual performance reviews in advance

The first step to avoid this is by not doing away with annual or bi-annual performance reviews and communicating the dates or the timeline for the same in advance. This will give out the message that while ongoing reviews are important, you are equally committed to performance reviews in the long run.

2. Emphasize on the difference and importance of each

Second, it is important to emphasize the difference between the two and highlight the importance of each. You need to make your team members understand that while ongoing reviews seek to address challenges in real time and preempt any major risk, performance reviews seek to focus on long term performance improvement and gauge the impact of employee performance on organizational success and vice versa. 

Ongoing reviews have a more short term and immediate focus and seek to ensure everyday work efficiency. Performance reviews set the tone for long term performance improvement and have a more pronounced focus. It is extremely critical to communicate this to your managers and executives, who are then responsible for ensuring that the same reaches their team members. 

3. Have distinct parameters for evaluation

If you wish to prevent ongoing reviews from taking place of performance reviews, you need to have distinct parameters for evaluation of both. If you have similar parameters, your managers will have a hard time differentiating between the two and the whole purpose will be defeated. 

Therefore, your ongoing reviews must focus on metrics of task and project completion, while the performance reviews should include parameters like organizational impact, personal and professional growth, etc. 

4. Identify different forms of continuous feedback

Another way to prevent continuous feedback from taking place of performance reviews is to expand the scope of what continuous feedback entails. The idea is to broaden the idea beyond performance and goal setting to include different factors that influence employee experience

Your continuous feedback could focus on augmenting engagement and talking about creating an empowering culture. 

While your performance review will solely focus on the employee and how his/her contribution has been to organizational success, continuous feedback can take care of several other factors which enable employee growth and development

#Q5. How to align continuous feedback with rewards decisions?

There are several ways in which continuous feedback can ensure that rewards and recognition happen in the most effective and meaningful manner. Following are a few aspects that you need to keep in mind —

1. Eliminate bias from recognition

In the first instance, if you look at annual performance feedback, you might see that it is vulnerable to various forms of biases which come along when feedback is delivered after long intervals. Two of the most common biases include halo or horns effect and recency effect. 

a) Halo or Horns Effect

In halo or horns effect, your judgment of an individual’s performance might be clouded by a singular positive or negative event. Here you will end up seeing their entire performance with a tinted lens. 

However, when you leverage continuous feedback, you are able to leverage real time performance insights which prevent you from making rigid assumptions about a person’s performance on the basis of a single event. 

This will enable you to make fair rewards and recognition. It will help you recognize the efforts and performance the way it is and prevent you from anchoring your reward decisions only on one or two instances of employee performance. 

b) Recency Bias

In the recency effect, you might be vulnerable to gauging the performance of your employees based on the most recent events. 

In an annual feedback approach, you might end up taking into account only the most recent aspects of the performance, which will only give you a myopic view. However, with continuous feedback, you can eliminate the recency effect and offer feedback in real time to ensure that every aspect of employee performance is given due credit and their rewards and recognition give a holistic picture of their performance. 

Quick Read — Read Employee Recognition 101 to learn everything about implementing employee recognition programs the right way.

2. Facilitate continuous recognition and motivation 

Continuous feedback is also a great tool to create a culture of continuous recognition. This has the potential to improve organizational score on factors like engagement, motivation, retention and an overall positive employee experience. 

Continuous feedback can be aligned with rewards by creating a continuous recognition program to appreciate and reward performance in real time

  • You can make an instant effort to acknowledge the contribution of your employees in public (if that’s the culture) to encourage others also to keep a consistent level of performance throughout the year rather than only on days close to the performance review.
  • Continuous feedback can help you in recognizing efforts and good work as well as giving credit when credit is due rather than postponing it to the end of the year.
  • It can help facilitate and fulfill the human need for instant gratification with the right praise at the right time. 

More often than not, when you delay recognition due to lack of real time and continuous feedback, its impact reduces considerably and it fails to act as a motivation tool for the employees. 

#Q6. How to train managers to give constructive continuous feedback?

One of the final questions that you might be struggling with would revolve around giving your managers constructive feedback in a continuous and regular manner. Here are a few ways in which you can achieve the same:

1. Capture employee data

To offer constructive and continuous feedback, managers need to be armed with employee data. This refers to not only having relevant data points about employee performance and achievements, but also insights on what they feel and their opinion about the work and workplace. Constructive and continuous feedback stems from hard evidence based on which you can have a rational conversation for improvement. 

Pro-tip — SuperBeings’ intelligent Sentiment Analysis can take your employee understanding to the next level. Book a free demo today to see it in action in your organization.

2. Practice active listening

For feedback to be constructive, as a manager, you can’t simply share your point of view and expect the employee to absorb and execute the same. You need to give them a chance as well to explain why certain things panned out the way they did. 

Furthermore, you need to understand from them what their plans are and how they seek to grow professionally and personally. For continuous feedback to actually be effective, you need to engage in dialogue because just listening to your monologue will end up frustrating your team members, because chances are that without their perspectives, you will end up repeating yourself every time. 

Quick Read — Check out this list of 50 questions to ask in your next 1:1 meeting to ensure you are talking about what really matters.

3. Offer specific solutions

One of the key aspects of constructive feedback is to ensure that some action points or next steps or solutions are discussed. Simply sharing with your employees what is working and what is not will not suffice. 

This becomes even more important when the feedback is continuous because you are talking about challenges in real time and simply stating the problem without brainstorming on a possible solution is self defeating. 

This does not mean that you have to force ready made solutions for your employees. Rather, it is important to have a good conversation to collectively identify potential solutions. 

#Q7. What are the challenges to developing a culture of continuous feedback?

When you implement the continuous feedback framework in your organization, you will realize that there are certain risks and challenges that are likely to come your way. It is best to anticipate them beforehand and be prepared with appropriate solutions to ensure that they don’t retard your growth and hinder performance improvement. 

Some of the common pitfalls that managers all around the world have come across include:

1. Lack of consistency

The first common pitfall that stands in the way of continuous feedback success is the lack of consistency. A continuous approach to feedback requires dedicated and consistent efforts towards tracking employee performance and creating feedback on the same. However, due to various priorities, fast growing organizations tend to lack consistency when it comes to feedback.

This is why it is crucial to use a continuous feedback tool that will automate the process and supply managers with timely action recommendations.

2. Lack of manager buy in

Second, continuous feedback requires a lot of effort on the part of managers and leadership to provide the right inputs and also engage in dialogue with their employees. As opposed to annual feedback, they need to spend more time and effort on continuous feedback and that too on a regular basis. This generally leads to a resistance from the managers and an unwillingness to change the status quo.

3. Limited resources

The next common pitfall to continuous feedback comes in the form of limited resources, both human and capital. Most fast growing organizations are constrained by the availability of resources. 

Therefore, even if there is a motivation to focus on continuous feedback, activities which have a direct impact on the bottom line (such as goals and OKR check-ins) take precedence. Often, organizations lack dedicated resources to manage the entire continuous feedback spectrum, which adds to its ineffectiveness and limited success. 

4. Inability to follow up with action steps

Finally, for continuous feedback to bear results, it is important that feedback and reviews are followed up with action items that indicate change. However, for many organizations, feedback is seldom backed by action and next steps. 

Invariably, when there is no action following the feedback, due to either lack of expertise or limited managerial competencies or lack of insights and industry best practices, level of performance improvement is negligible. 

Final thoughts

We hope that we were able to answer most of your questions on continuous feedback. In case you have any more queries, you can reach out to us directly. In our experience of working with fast growing organizations, we have realized that most of them benefitted highly from partnering with platforms like SuperBeings. 

Leveraging such a platform can help you ensure that on one hand, there is a consistency and continuity to your feedback approach and on the other, there are concrete next steps and way forward after the feedback which is regularly tracked to ensure effective results. 

Book a demo today to get a flavor of how continuous feedback can automate your performance and 360 reviews with a highly flexible system built for reducing admin work and rater bias.

Sudeshna Roy

Marketing, SuperBeings

Hi There! I am Sudeshna. At SuperBeings, I lead our content strategy to bring you the best and latest on everything related to people management

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50+ Most Useful Employee Onboarding Survey Questions

‘Onboarding: How to get your new employees up to speed in half the time’ - George Bradt, founder and Chairman PrimeGenesis

Did you know that a strong onboarding process improves new hire retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%? 

However, only 12% of employees strongly agree their organization does a great job at onboarding new employees. 

This clearly states that while employee onboarding has a direct impact on the bottom line, most organizations miss out on how to get it right. 

Don’t let that happen to you. To onboard new employees like a pro, keep reading.

What is an onboarding survey?

By definition, an onboarding survey is a questionnaire that is administered on new hires to gauge their initial experience and level of satisfaction, in an attempt to understand their engagement and retention potential. 

As an HR, you can get multiple insights from an onboarding survey, including:

  • what employees thought about the organization when they heard about it for the first time
  • how their impression changed over time 
  • whether or not their experience aligns with their expectations, etc.

It can help you estimate how long the employees are likely to stay and how you can further optimize your onboarding process to make it more aligned with employee expectations. 

Why are onboarding surveys important?

An effective onboarding survey can help you reflect on your performance through the onboarding process, which directly impacts KPIs for organizational success, including:

1. Retention

93% of employers believe a good onboarding experience is critical in influencing a new employee’s decision whether to stay with the company. At the same time, 25% of a company’s new hires would leave within a year if the onboarding experience was poor. 

2. eNPS

20% of new hires are unlikely to recommend an employer to a friend or family member and an onboarding survey can help you identify the reasons for the same. However, new team members who were asked to provide feedback prior to their start date also had a 79% increase in willingness to refer others. Thus, illustrating how onboarding surveys and feedback can impact eNPS.

Read: How to use eNPS for better employee engagement

3. Satisfaction and Engagement

Employees with exceptional onboarding experiences are 2.6x more likely to be extremely satisfied with their workplace and 70% say they have ‘the best possible job’.

4. Performance

77% of employees who went through a formal onboarding process were able to meet their first performance goals. However, 49% of individuals who failed to reach their first performance milestone had no official onboarding instruction. An onboarding survey can help you determine the effectiveness of your onboarding process.  

5. Other

In addition, your new employees might also have an inclination towards providing feedback as a part of the onboarding survey, which you will lose out if you don’t conduct the same. Research shows that only 26% of new employees recall being asked for feedback on their candidate journey and the hiring process before their start date wherein 91% of new hires are willing to provide this feedback. 

Employee onboarding survey: Best practices

Now that you understand the importance of an employee onboarding survey, let’s quickly discuss how to effectively run an onboarding survey. 

1. Set the cadence

You must coincide your employee onboarding survey with important milestones for the new employee in the organization. Mostly, these milestones coincide with the end of the first few months. Thus, you should circulate your onboarding survey after 30, 60 and 90 days respectively, with different objectives for each. Furthermore, you can send interim surveys in case you feel the need, for instance, when the employee starts a project, or when the orientation process is over. 

“Effective employee onboarding isn’t about swag, stickers, & company value pamphlets on their desk the 1st day. But, how you help them understand their goals & how co values are interwoven in operating are more important.”- Suhail Doshi, founder and chairman of Mixpanel, Inc.

2. Identify critical areas and build questions

Based on the milestones or cadence you have set up, it is important to identify areas you would want to cover with each milestone. For instance:

In the first 30 days, you should focus on themes like: 

  • Orientation process
  • Initial thoughts
  • Expectation alignment 
  • Recruitment process
  • Onboarding experience

In 60 days, you can touch on themes like:

  • Knowledge transfer
  • Level of engagement and satisfaction
  • Induction process

By the end of 90 days, focus should shift towards:

  • Manager support
  • Role clarity
  • Likelihood to stay
  • Organizational alignment

Once you have decided the themes, you can start building questions, a snapshot of which is covered in the next section or you can download the template now here. The themes can be fluid across milestones, depending on the context for your organization. 

3. Roll out the survey for participation

Once the milestone arrives, you should roll out the onboarding survey and drive participation. It is important to explain to your new employees why the onboarding survey is important and how they can fill it up. Give them the requisite time, deadlines and communicate what will be the next steps to encourage them to participate. 

4. Follow up

Simply rolling out the survey is not enough. You must reach out to your new employees to remind them to fill the onboarding survey as amidst numerous new things, they might lose track of it. Don’t push too hard, yet send subtle reminders to get genuine responses. For instance: employee survey tools such as SuperBeings integrate with chat tools like Slack, Teams, Gchat to send personalized nudges to fill out the survey in the flow of work at set intervals as well as allows them to participate directly without switching context. 

Unlock a wide array of survey questions and employee analytics. See how SuperBeings can help

5. Take action

Once your onboarding survey responses are in, slice and dice them to get insights into what your employees feel and leverage the data points to further refine your onboarding process to facilitate engagement, retention and advocacy from the beginning. 

Sample onboarding survey questions for 30-60-90 day review

Taking cue from the section above, here are 50+ onboarding survey questions that you can leverage to gauge the pulse of your new employees as they complete different milestones.

You can also download these questions as a template and use it whenever you need. Click here to download

1. Onboarding survey questions for 30 day review

a) Onboarding and orientation process

  1. How can we change or improve the onboarding process?
  2. What did you like most about the onboarding process?
  3. Was the orientation interactive and engaging?
  4. Did the onboarding process meet your expectations?
  5. Do you feel welcome and proud to be working here?
  6. How would you rate the duration and quality of your onboarding experience?
  7. How would you describe your first day?

b) Decision related questions

  1. What were the top 3 reasons for joining this company?
  2. Do you think those reasons have been met?

c) Technical training and knowledge transfer

  1. Have you received the training that you were promised during your induction?
  2. Did the training meet your expectations and was accurately described during the hiring process?
  3. Is the training relevant to your roles and responsibilities?
  4. Were adequate tools and materials shared during training to facilitate knowledge transfer?

2. Onboarding survey questions for 60 day review

a) Engagement related questions

  1. Would you recommend the company to others in your network?
  2. Do you see yourself working here in 2 years?
  3. Do you feel motivated to come to work in the morning?
  4. Do you feel prepared for your role?

b) Onboarding experience

  1. Did the first 30 days of onboarding go as expected?
  2. What is the one thing you would like to change from your experience so far?

c) Company policies

  1. Are you clear on the different company policies shared with you?
  2. Do you have any concerns about any of the policies that you would like to highlight?
  3. Do you think any policy is missing that you think must be a part of our governance?

d) Questions about team

  1. Have your team members been integral in smooth onboarding?
  2. Have you been able to connect and collaborate with all your team members?
  3. Do you consider your team members to be welcoming and inclusive?
  4. What is the thing you would like to change about how your team works currently?

e) Reflection questions

  1. Have you been able to achieve the goals you set out for your 60 days?
  2. How has your journey been so far?
  3. What has been your biggest accomplishment in 60 days?
  4. What are some achievements you would like to ensure in the next 30 days?

3. Onboarding survey questions for 90 day review

a) Role and expectation clarity

  1. Do you have an understanding of what is expected from you as a part of this role?
  2. Is your role similar to what was communicated to you during the hiring process?
  3. Do you have the necessary resources you need for the role?
  4. Do you have clarity of your goals?
  5. Do you understand how your work will be evaluated?
  6. Does your role meet your career aspirations?
  7. What do you think is the most difficult part about your role?
  8. What excites you most about your current role?
  9. Do you understand the importance of the work you do?

b) Organizational alignment

  1. Do your values align with the organizational values?
  2. Do you believe in the vision and mission of the organization?
  3. Do you believe your ideas are valued?
  4. Do you have clarity on the organization’s future plans and do you align with them?
  5. Do you see yourself as a part of this organization 5 years from now?

c) Manager support

  1. Have your conversations with the managers been effective?
  2. Does your manager support your career aspirations?
  3. Does your manager provide you with the necessary support to perform your role effectively?
  4. Do you receive regular feedback from your manager?
  5. Does your manager include you in key discussions, wherever applicable?

d) Other questions

  1. What are some of the challenges you have faced so far?
  2. Do you feel your onboarding was successful?
  3. How can we help you in improving the overall experience?
  4. Do you feel included and accepted by everyone in the team?
  5. How do you see yourself progressing from here?
  6. Do you have access to all the information you need?

Wrapping up (TL:DR)

By now, it would be very clear to you that an employee onboarding survey can help you in multiple ways to create a high performance culture. It can enable you to augment retention, engagement, satisfaction and advocacy among employees to ensure that there is minimal turnover and you are able to attract high quality talent. Ensure that you roll out an onboarding survey at 30/60/90 days frequency to check onboarding experience, knowledge transfer, manager support, role clarity, etc. 

You should focus on other forms of employee feedback on culture, training and development opportunities, level of engagement, manager effectiveness, workplace collaboration, work-life balance, among others. 

Finally, you should focus on leveraging technology and automation to add efficiency and effectiveness to your onboarding survey and process. 

Research shows, automating onboarding tasks resulted in a 16% increase in retention rates for new hires.

Thus, consider partnering with a survey platform which enables you to:

  • Use science-backes best practices onboarding survey templates
  • Track employee milestones automatically and roll out surveys on due date with zero to minimal manual intervention 
  • Integrate surveys with existing chat tools for reminders and sending out survey questions
  • Use NLP for decoding sentiments behind open comments to understand the reason behind each response
  • Use other employee engagement surveys to get the whole picture of new hire engagement

Related Reading

How to use employee engagement survey comments

Best employee engagement survey tools in the market today

min read

How to Give Constructive Feedback? (With Examples)

When it comes to performance management for employees, you would agree that feedback plays an important role. However, only offering positive feedback and appreciating the performance of your employees is not enough. You need to give them an equal amount of constructive feedback which is specific to ensure high levels of performance. If you feel that your employees may not embrace constructive feedback, think again.

Research shows that 92% of people believe that constructive feedback is effective at improving performance.

In this article we will help you understand how you can give constructive feedback and examples you can leverage. 

What is constructive feedback?

Constructive feedback is essentially a tool that most forward looking professionals leverage to help others in their team with specific and constructive inputs on areas where one’s performance can be improved. Put simply, if you have an employee who doesn’t pay attention to detail, constructive feedback involves helping them acknowledge that this is a problem area, and more than that, enabling them with the support to overcome the same. It involves not only identifying a performance problem, but also, providing action items and ways to address the same. 

Importance of constructive feedback

Now that you have an understanding of what constructive feedback means, let’s quickly look at some of the top reasons why constructive feedback is important. Constructive feedback:

  • Improves performance: It enables your team members to understand how they can perform better with specific inputs on areas of improvement
  • Reinforces expectations: It helps your employees clearly gauge what is expected out of them in terms of performance, and sets clear deliverables and measurement parameters to avoid any surprises during performance appraisal
  • Boosts morale and confidence: It involves also appreciating employees for a job well done and illustrates how they can become a better version of themselves
  • Facilitates employee stickiness: It ensures that employees see your organization which cares about their professional growth and encourages them to stick around longer, and even act as advocates for others.

Positive feedback vs constructive feedback 

When delivering feedback, you must understand the difference between positive and constructive feedback and ensure that you use both of them where they fit the best. Here a quick distinction between positive feedback vs constructive feedback:

  • Positive feedback focuses on a job well done and highlights where an employee has excelled. Whereas, constructive feedback talks about areas of improvement and action items for desirable outcomes. 
  • While positive feedback seeks to reinforce the positive behavior, constructive feedback focuses more on facts and traits.
  • Positive feedback is a reflection of the past performance and doesn’t necessarily have a futuristic orientation, however, constructive feedback takes reference from the past to feed better performance in the future.  
  • “Your presentation during the board meeting was crisp and informative” is an example of positive feedback. Whereas, “While your presentation was informative, you can focus more on articulation to ensure that all your research is communicated in a way that everyone is able to understand. Using pointers can help here”, is an example of constructive feedback.
In a nutshell, positive feedback is a reinforcement tool, whereas constructive feedback is a mechanism to facilitate development. 

How to give constructive feedback

With an understanding of the fundamentals of constructive feedback, let’s quickly jump to the best practices which can help you deliver constructive feedback in a nuanced and effective manner. 

1. Decide when to give the constructive feedback

The first thing you need to focus on is ensuring that the timing of the constructive feedback is ideal. For instance, a busy period when the employee is putting in a lot of effort may not be ideal for giving them feedback about their performance from three months ago. At the same time, ensure that you provide constructive feedback regularly and consistently, to avoid recency or primacy bias. However, don’t offer feedback when you are angry about their performance either. 

2. Set the context and build trust

Before you get down to giving the feedback, set the tone. Share with the employee the purpose of the meeting and make them comfortable prior to sharing your reflections. It is important that you build trust so your employees can share their perspective and don’t feel intimidated by what you have to say. 

3. Share your reflections

Once the context and tone is set, start sharing your reflections. Your focus should be on sharing what you have observed about their performance. However, ensure that you also share how the same is likely to impact their career growth as well as organizational success. For instance, if you are providing constructive feedback about missing deadlines, you can use the impact of losing clients for the organization and a casual attitude marker for the employee.

4. Give specific examples

When sharing reflections, use specific examples of when you noticed a particular behavior. For instance, in the above example, you can share instances of when the employee missed his/her deadlines. Ensure that you use examples which illustrate a pattern, rather than a one off incident, which is very uncommon. Furthermore, always use concrete examples and not interpretation of what you hear or see.   

5. Balance positive and negative

With constructive feedback, your focus should be on helping the employee improve their performance and work on their areas of development.

However, simply pointing out their weaknesses or negatives in their performance will not help. You need to also talk about some of the positive aspects of their performance and how those qualities can help them absorb and implement their constructive feedback. 

6. Be empathetic

Emotional intelligence is extremely important when delivering constructive feedback. You cannot be apathetic towards your employee when delivering the same. Put yourself in their shoes to choose your phrases carefully. We will share some examples in the next section. Also, use your EQ to read the situation when you are delivering the feedback. If you see that the employee is getting uncomfortable, take a pause and comfort them first. Read their gestures and body language to ensure that the employee is not feeling attacked. 

7. Don’t make it personal

Like it or not, constructive feedback involves pointing out one’s weaknesses and areas of improvement. However, you should refrain from equating the performance of the employee with his/her personality or whole self. For instance, if someone misses deadlines, encourage them to be more organized or prioritize important work, than labeling them as a procrastinator. 

8. Encourage response from the other side

While you are delivering the constructive feedback, you have to make sure it is a dialogue.

The idea is to give the other person enough room to share their side of the story.

Try to understand whether or not they agree with your feedback and how they perceive the same. They may share the lack of support or resources, which have resulted in a weak performance. Be open to some reverse feedback as well. Again, your EQ must be at play here. If your employee has an outburst, or reacts negatively, you need to stay composed and calm them down. 

9. Discuss potential solutions

Once you and your employee are aligned on the areas of improvement, the most important part of constructive feedback is to provide adequate solutions to address the performance challenges. Don’t give abstract or vague solutions like be punctual if the employee misses deadlines. Rather, give very specific and action oriented solutions which are directed towards a particular outcome. The idea is to collectively understand the cause of the weak area of performance and use concrete solutions to remedy the same. 

10. Create a time bound action plan

Now that you have shared some potential solutions, you must revise the top action items with your employee to avoid any confusion. At the same time, you should focus on creating a time bound plan with key milestones to ensure that development is taking place. Summarize what was discussed and how you will proceed from there. Best is to set up a date to review the progress to ensure constructive feedback is paid heed to. 

Read our article on Start Stop Continue Feedback to give action oriented feedback

20 Constructive feedback examples 

Here are top 20 constructive feedback examples that you can use during your next conversation. To make your constructive feedback more effective, we have also illustrated examples of what you should steer away from.

1. Communication skills

Example of how to give constructive feedback

I would really like to know how you have progressed on the tasks assigned to you last month. It would be ideal if you could share a progress update on what has been achieved with a small summary of challenges/ support needed at the end of every week to ensure everyone is on the same page.

Example of how not to give constructive feedback

You have not kept your team updated about your work, this is highly unprofessional.

2. Attention to detail

Example of how to give constructive feedback

I was going through the work you submitted last week and I can see you have put in a lot of effort. However, I could see that there were some small errors and inaccuracies in the report across multiple sections. I believe that if you proofread your work thoroughly before turning it in, it will reduce the number of iterations and improve your quality of work. 

Example of how not to give constructive feedback

You seem completely distracted as you have been submitting flawed and below average work, this will not be tolerated. 

3. Time management

Example of how to give constructive feedback

I understand that you are working on multiple projects, however, you need to ensure that the most important projects are not overlooked and their timelines are not missed. Therefore, I would suggest you create a list of tasks you are working on and check with the respective reporting managers on the priority and set clear expectations to ensure that no deadlines are missed. 

Example of how not to give constructive feedback

You have missed your deadline again, it seems like you are not serious about you work. 

4. Goal achievement

Example of how to give constructive feedback

I see that you have been able to achieve only a part of the goals that you set out for this year. Maybe you were trying to spread yourself too thin. I would suggest you reduce the number of projects you are working on and ensure that the goals you set you are able to achieve. Furthermore, you must be vocal about the support or resources you need to achieve your goals. 

Example of how not to give constructive feedback

Are you even serious about your work, your level of goal achievement indicates otherwise. 

5. Absenteeism

Example of how to give constructive feedback

I see that you have been taking some time off lately, without any prior intimation. Let’s try to understand if there is a particular reason for the same. We can work on your schedule to make it more flexible. 

Example of how not to give constructive feedback

You have been missing all meetings lately, this tardiness is not appreciated. 

6. Problem solving

Example of how to give constructive feedback

I see that you are excellent at execution of ideas. However, I believe that you need to focus more on coming up with solutions on your own. I would suggest participating more in the brainstorming sessions and coming up with solutions. Try to think on your own, before you reach out to others with the problem.

Example of how not to give constructive feedback

You lack any problem solving capabilities, and will be stuck to execution for the rest of your career.

Wrapping up

Constructive feedback is integral to organizational success. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Always use facts and examples to deliver constructive feedback
  • Don’t forget to differentiate between positive and constructive feedback
  • Make sure you have practical tips or suggestions 
  • Leverage specific constructive feedback examples for specific performance problems, instead of being vague

Related Reading

50 top 360 degree feedback question examples

150 performance review phrases

min read

How to Use Performance Management Cycle for High Performance Teams

While performance management has been a key priority for organizations, for a long time, year end reviews were considered to be the most effective way to facilitate the same. However, recently organizations are observing a shift towards continuous performance management with an introduction of the performance management cycle. This article will focus on different aspects of the performance management cycle and how it enables unlocking the potential of high performance teams. 

What is a performance management cycle?

Before going into the diverse aspects, you should first understand what a performance management cycle essentially is. If you have an idea of what continuous performance management is, you’re already a step ahead in the understanding. Performance management cycle primarily is a way or a model in which you evaluate or focus on the performance of your employees throughout the year. The idea is to break down the different elements of employee performance into different stages and focus on them consistently. It starts with setting goals and ends with rewards for a job well done, which leads to setting of new goals and the performance management cycle resets.  

Understanding 4 stages of the performance management cycle

While you may want to divide your performance management cycle into any number of stages, mostly there are four stages. 


The first stage, at the very beginning of the performance management cycle, focuses on creating a plan for the performance ahead. The idea is to have a clear understanding on what your employee must achieve and how you will eventually review and evaluate them. During the planning stage, you and your team member, collectively should:

  • Set SMART goals of OKRs based on the performance expectations
  • Have clear KPIs or metrics which you will use for performance appraisal
  • Clarify how individual goals or OKRs contribute to organizational vision

Thus, the planning stage of the performance management cycle sets the tone for the year ahead and ensures there is clarity at all levels. 


Once the goals have been set in the planning stage, you enter the monitoring stage of the performance management cycle. This stage essentially focuses on ensuring that things are moving as planned. The idea is to ascertain that your team members are more or less on track for specific milestones outlined as a part of goal setting. Additionally, this stage will help you address any performance challenges that you may observe, sooner than later. Monitoring stage includes:

  • Regular one-on-one meetings to review performance so far
  • Providing feedback to your team members on what you think has been going well and what needs to improve
  • Relooking at goals in case they are behind or ahead of schedule in terms of achievement
  • Understanding the kind of extra support or resources your team members might need to improve their performance
  • Having candid conversations with your employees on wellbeing, professional development objectives, and other factors which may impact performance, morale and engagement 

The monitoring stage essentially focuses on tracking the performance of your employees against the set goals to provide constructive feedback and help them perform better. 


The third stage of the performance management cycle comes into existence towards the end. It involves reviewing the performance and providing ratings based on the established KPIs and metrics. While this is the formal review process, if you have been constantly monitoring the performance of your employees, this will essentially be a consolidation of all the reviews and feedback shared overtime. While delivering performance reviews, ensure that you:

  • Shed any performance review biases that might come your way, including primacy effect, recency bias, halo/horns effect, etc. 
  • Give your employees concrete examples and facts to support your review, rather than being vague and ambiguous
  • Should try to get 360 degree feedback and review for your team members
  • Answer some of the following questions to create an informed review:
  1. Did the employee achieve the goals set out?
  2. What were the key enablers in their achievement?
  3. Did you observe growth in the employee during the performance management cycle?
  4. Did the employee share any concerns, and were they addressed?

Since you have been connecting regularly with your employees, the reviews will not come as a surprise to them, but will help you monitor the trends of their performance and guide the next stage for the employee’s professional growth. 


Finally, the rewarding stage in the performance management cycle acts as a culmination to one cycle and sets stage for the commencement of the next. The objective is to take into account their performance over the performance management cycle and create a culture of rewards and recognition to celebrate and appreciate high performance. Some of the quick ways to reward your employees include, giving them:

  • Healthy increments and promotions
  • Public appreciation through social media, company intranet
  • Bonuses and other incentives
  • Rewards like vouchers, gifts, etc. 

This stage is important to make your employees feel valued and motivate them to keep the performance going. It will also push average performers to step up their efforts and enable you to create a high performance culture. 

Why is a performance management cycle important?

Now that you understand the various stages of a performance management cycle, let’s quickly look at why the performance management cycle is important for your organization. It will help you:

  • Clearly define goals and expectations from your employees to drive directed performance.
  • Keep your employees engaged. When you constantly connect with your employees for 1-o-1 meetings and consistently take interest in their performance improvement, they are likely to feel engaged, satisfied and motivated.
  • Address performance challenges preemptively and provide your employees with corrective actions, resources and support to bridge performance issues.
  • Retain talent as employees who feel that their performance is being valued and receive regular feedback tend to stay longer at an organization. 

Top 4 ways in which performance management cycle leads to high performance

In addition to the above mentioned benefits, a performance management cycle can help you build a high performance culture in a number of ways. Some of the top aspects include:

Clarifies KPIs and metrics

What constitutes high performance can be abstract. For some, closing 5 deals can be high performance, for others, it might be closing 15. Planning stage in the performance management lifecycle will help your employees understand what constitutes high performance and thus, proceed towards it. 

Boosts recognition

A key part of the performance management cycle is the rewards and recognition. When employees feel their performance is being valued and recognized, they tend to double up their efforts, leading to a high performance team.

Facilitates communication and feedback

Monitoring and tracking followed by 1-o-1 conversations can help you communicate with your employees regularly. Not only will you track their performance, but will also listen to their concerns or challenges and offer them feedback. Such conversations and feedback have a positive impact on performance, leading to a high performance culture. 

Ensures appropriate training

One of the foundations of high performance is enabling your team members to undergo the right training. Performance management cycle can help you understand which training is important for your employees at which performance stage, realizing high quality results. 

Top tips for managers for effective performance management cycle

As a manager, there are several ways in which you can unlock the true potential of a performance management cycle. You are one of the key stakeholders who plays an important role in every stage of the cycle. Here are a few tips that can help you augment the effectiveness of the performance management cycle:

  • Invite employee participation and make the OKR setting process collaborative and action oriented
  • Provide constructive feedback to your employees, instead of being too sweet or too negative
  • Help your employees access the right resources and training they need to meet their goals
  • Give your employees a safe space to share their concerns and challenges
  • Don’t micromanage your employees in the name of monitoring
  • Be open about relooking at the goals in case of a misalignment as you move along the performance management cycle

Benefits of using a performance management tool

A performance management tool can significantly help you streamline your performance management cycle by offering the following benefits. 

Performance snapshots

Get automated performance snapshots of your employee’s performance over the 9 box grid to track performance trends over time and provide reviews without recency bias.

1:1 conversations

Leverage guided templates with AI based suggestions for your 1:1 conversations with employees during the monitoring stage based on performance over time. Receive suggested talking points for goal-centered conversations.

Compare performance

Look at historic feedback to see improvement in performance and compare performance over time. You can also compare performance of peers over specific parameters. 

Related Reading

How to create a high performance culture using OKRs

7 steps to effective performance management system

12 common performance review biases to avoid

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