How to Use Custom Pulse Surveys to Enhance Employee Experience

Custom pulse surveys help you measure and understand issues that annual employee surveys often fail to address. Let’s discuss how to create your own surveys easily.


min read

Any HR leader would agree that the conventional approach to annual engagement surveys is not enough to understand and improve organizational health. Since the business expectations as well as employee needs are so dynamic today with the uncertain market conditions, waiting a year to gauge employee pulse is too long. 

As a result, most organizations today are adopting a variety of custom pulse surveys, which are shorter, more frequent and directly address specific employee needs; thus, more effective for enhancing employee experience. 

However, if you run custom pulse surveys without a strategy, clear objective and the right approach, you will have limited success. 

Through this article, we seek to help growing organizations like yours understand the various aspects of custom pulse surveys, including the different types and best practices to run them. 

Impact of custom pulse surveys on employee experience

Before we discuss the different types of custom pulse surveys you can leverage for your organization, let’s quickly understand why custom pulses are crucial to your organization’s success:

1. Preempt risks

By conducting custom pulse surveys on a regular basis, you can identify risks and challenges to employee experience in real time. This can help you address turnover, lack of motivation, etc. challenges before they surface, contributing to enhanced satisfaction and engagement. 

SUPER TIP — If you are interested in learning more about learning what drives employee motivation — check out our guide on the science of workplace motivation

2. Ensure alignment 

Custom pulse surveys can also help you in ensuring that the expectations and goals of your employees are well aligned with your organizational goals and objectives. A misalignment here can lead to detrimental outcomes for the organization as well as cause a poor employee experience. Fortunately, surveys can help you mitigate this challenge by helping you understand and manage expectations effectively.

3. Employee empowerment and engagement

Finally, custom pulse surveys are an effective way of augmenting employee engagement. Implemented in the right manner, these surveys can also give your employees voice on things that matter and make them feel included in organizational decisions. Engagement and empowerment both play a critical role in fostering a pleasant employee experience. 

SUPER TIP — Here’s how to use employee feedback to maximize engagement

Different types of custom pulse surveys

Limiting yourself to only one or two types of custom pulse surveys will seldom give you a complete picture. Contrarily, if you try to fit in all aspects of employee experience in a single survey, it might become confusing for your employees, and you will be unable to gauge pulse on any of the parameters. 

Therefore, it is best to incorporate different types of custom pulse surveys to your process throughout the year to achieve the best outcomes. 

1. eNPS surveys

eNPS or employee net promoter score is one of the best custom pulse surveys to help you measure how your employees feel about the company and how likely they are to recommend the same to those in their network. 

Advantages of eNPS

  • Great starting point to gauge employee sentiment on key organizational attributes
  • Easy to translate results into insights
  • Effective and efficient as it is quick to implement, higher completion and low in cost

Top eNPS survey questions 

  • On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend our company to a friend or colleague?
  • What is the top reason for the score you gave?
  • How likely are you to recommend our key product/service to those in your network?
  • Would anything prevent you from referring our company to your peers?

SUPER TIP — Asking a few qualitative questions can help you get a deeper understanding of your people. Else, encourage your employees to leave open ended comments after their answers. To learn how to use survey comments for better employee experience, read this

2. Annual surveys

Annual employee surveys are conducted at the end of the year and seek to bring a comprehensive picture of employee performance across different aspects throughout the year. They are important to help you create a plan of action and define priorities for the next year.

Advantages of annual surveys

  • Get a complete picture of different stakeholders in the organization and their contribution to organizational success
  • Gauge employee pulse at the end of the year after different interventions have been implemented to enhance performance and engagement to measure the effectiveness of the people initiatives
  • Set goals and objectives for the next year backed with data

Top annual survey questions

  • Are you satisfied with your performance over the last year?
  • How do you think the company can support you better?
  • Are you satisfied with the way your organization has managed both its business and people?
  • Do you have a good understanding of the processes and structures in the organization?

SUPER TIP — Check out the guided custom pulse survey templates provided by SuperBeings across all these categories. Book a free demo here 

custom pulse survey templates
SuperBeings custom pulse survey templates on different topics

3. M&A surveys

This is one of the types of custom pulse surveys that most organizations tend to overlook, but one which has a considerable impact on your culture. M&A or mergers and acquisitions have a direct impact on employee experience. Your employees might be confused or overwhelmed about their new roles or if there is a change in leadership. Therefore, M&A surveys are important to ensure productivity and retention during the merger/acquisition period. 

Advantages of M&A surveys

  • Check uncertainty and ambiguity for employees and give them reassurance to prevent turnover
  • Gauge employee sentiment about the merger and address misconceptions
  • Facilitate smooth transition with consistent productivity, job satisfaction and morale

Top M&A survey questions for fast growing organizations

  • Would you agree that the merger/acquisition is a good step for the organization?
  • Are you clear and comfortable with your new role after the merger?
  • Did you receive support during the transition?
  • Has there been a change in the workload after the merger?
  • Are you excited about the new opportunities the merger will bring along?

4. Onboarding check-in  

Employee onboarding, especially the first 30, 60 and 90 days are critical to a pleasant employee experience as this is the time  when perceptions are made, belongingness established and much more. Therefore, custom pulse surveys that focus on onboarding check-in to gauge how well your employees are settling in, how well they understand their roles and how well they blend into the culture are important. 

Advantages of onboarding check-in

  • Reduce new hire turnover due to poor experience
  • Influence the overall perception of new hires and impact future engagement, motivation
  • Set up your employees for success by early expectation setting

Top onboarding check-in questions for fast growing organizations

I) First 30 days

  • Do you feel welcomed by the organization?
  • How well do you understand your job responsibilities?
  • What do you think about the company’s culture?
  • Do you have any suggestions for us to improve the recruitment process?

II) 30-60 days

  • Would you recommend your peers to join the organization?
  • Do you have a clarity of expectations from your role?
  • Have you been able to identify areas of learning and development for your current role?
  • How well do you understand your work goals?

III) 60-90 days

  • Do you align with the organizational values?
  • How has your experience been in collaboration and communication with your team?
  • How challenging is your current role?

5. DEI pulse

Amongst the custom pulse surveys, the DEI survey requires a special mention. It can help you understand how your employees feel about the diversity, equity and inclusion aspects of your organization, as well as gauge sentiments of diverse team members on whether they have a sense of belongingness or not. 

DEI custom pulse surveys can help you facilitate high levels of engagement, promote creativity, create an inclusive workplace and promote pleasant employee experience.  

Advantages of DEI surveys

  • Create the right diversity and inclusion goals to attract top talent
  • Understand how different employee groups perceive your culture and address blockers to a feeling of inclusion
  • Create a more engaged and motivated workforce with a sense of fairness and justice for all

Top DEI survey questions

  • Do you agree that the organization values diversity and it is critical when it comes to key decisions?
  • Are you satisfied with the level of diversity in your team?
  • Do you feel included in key decisions of your team where you have a role to play?
  • Are your unique background and opinions given due importance?
  • Do you think different opportunities are available to all?
  • Would you agree that the organization promotes transparency and respect for all?

6. Professional development survey

Finally, the last of the many custom pulse surveys you should include in your organization is the professional development survey. These surveys seek to help you understand if your workforce is satisfied with the professional development opportunities and support provided by the organization and how their long term goals align with organizational success. 

Advantages of professional development surveys

  • Meet the upskilling and reskilling needs of your workforce to bridge the skills gap
  • Reduce voluntary turnover due to poor satisfaction with professional development programs
  • Increase the level of satisfaction and engagement among employees

Top professional development survey questions 

  • Do you feel you are presented with adequate professional growth opportunities?
  • Do you foresee achieving them in this organization?
  • Do you have enough training and development opportunities to refine your skills?
  • Have you received adequate mentorship support from your manager for your professional development?
  • Do you receive constructive feedback to improve your professional performance?

How to create your own custom pulse surveys?

Now that you have an understanding of different types of custom pulse surveys you can run, it’s time for you to get started with creating your own surveys. While getting the questions correct is important, it is also important to identify the right audience for each survey, the best time to run the same, how long you should run the survey and how you should collect responses and benefit from the results. 

SUPER TIP — Check our detailed step-by-step article to create your own custom pulse surveys

However, here's a quick guide for you:

Creating and conducting custom pulse surveys

The first important aspect is to create the survey which captures every aspect you wish to gauge about the sentiment of your employees. There are several steps at play here:

  • Identify the right questions. You can take reference from the above mentioned illustrative list and build on those. Or you can use SuperBeings templates for creating specific surveys.
guided custom pulse survey templates
SuperBeings Custom Pulse templates
  • You can also create a custom pulse survey template from scratch and save it for later. As seen in the image above, SuperBeings allows you to add your own questions to the guided templates in addition to recommended questions from SuperBeings library. Whether you use a template suggested by your employee pulse survey tool or choose to create your own, just ensure that your template has an excellent user experience to facilitate greater completion rate.
  • Identify the audience. Select who you will roll out the survey to. For instance, the onboarding check-in survey will be exclusive to the new hires, while a few others can be rolled out for the entire organization. SuperBeings lets you create and save your own dynamic lists to use later. Thus, reducing redundant effort.
custom pulse survey audience list
  • Define the length and frequency. The general trend is moving towards shorter and more frequent surveys to facilitate greater engagement and preempt risks in real time.

For a deeper understanding, you can refer to our comprehensive guide on creating and conducting custom pulse surveys. Furthermore, you can also leverage a pulse survey tool like SuperBeings to not only conduct the survey but also drive results and share insights, but leveraging automation, artificial intelligence and industry experience. Book a free demo today!

Timelines and duration of the survey

You need to make a conscious effort into determining what is the ideal time for you to run your custom pulse surveys and for how long you should be running them. For the former, that is on the timelines, there are three factors that need to be taken into consideration. 

First, when do you need to present the results? This suggests that you need to determine when you wish to discuss the insights from the survey to create a plan of action. If you are adopting a more regular approach for real-time interventions, your timelines should be regular too.Unlike many other employee survey tools, SuperBeings allows you to set different frequencies for primary and sub driver questions — helping you to customize the survey even further.

frequency and duration of custom pulse surveys

Second, you need to gauge the best time for the survey when your employees will ensure a high completion rate. For instance, a busy period or festivals may not be the best time to run a survey as it might get missed. However, if you are running surveys on a regular basis, you need to encourage your employees to set aside time in their calendar every day/ week based on the survey frequency to complete the same. 

SuperBeings provides regular nudges to your employees to complete the survey on collaboration platforms you already use like Slack or Gchat without disrupting their flow of work. Thus, ensuring more participation.

Third, you need to be cognizant of the type of survey you are conducting. For instance, the onboarding check-in has to be conducted in the first 30, 60 and 90 days of the employee joining. Similarly, annual surveys will be conducted at the end of the year. 

The duration of your custom pulse surveys will also depend on the frequency you wish to choose. 

  • On one hand, surveys which happen once in a while, giving about two weeks is good. However, you can always check with the recipients of the survey on what they think should be the ideal duration to keep the survey open. 
  • On the other hand, if you are running surveys on a daily basis, like many fast growing organizations, your survey will automatically be available for 24 hours where your employees can participate in it asynchronously. 

Making sense of your employee pulse survey responses

You must understand by now that only conducting your custom pulse surveys and collecting responses is not enough. You need to ensure that those responses are translated into insights to create a plan of action to bring change. This involves showing gratitude to the participants, gauging sentiments and trends, sharing a plan and executing the plan. Here is a ready to use guide to help you make the most of your results. 

Suggested Reading —

  • How to understand organizational climate from engagement survey results
  • How to use survey comments to drive employee engagement

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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