Organizational Effectiveness: A Comprehensive Guide to Company Success

Organizational effectiveness is integral to success for any company. Explore how companies and leaders can increase organizational effectiveness.


min read

Whether you are an HR professional or a line manager or a part of the executive leadership, organizational effectiveness would definitely mean something to you. If you take a close look, you will understand that while many consider it as a mere buzzword without any concrete meaning, some forward-looking organizations are treating it to gauge their success. Put simply, organizational effectiveness refers to how well and efficiently an organization is able to achieve its vision and goals. As a fast growing organization, you must focus on organizational effectiveness as it is essential to impact the bottom line, attract the top talent, as well as, survive and thrive amongst your competitors.

What is organizational effectiveness?

Before diverting any resources to this buzzword, you might want to answer the question on what is organizational effectiveness. In the simplest terms, organizational effectiveness refers to an organization’s ability to meet its objectives. As a growth driven organization, you are bound to have a certain set of goals that you seek to achieve by a combination of operations, processes and people. Organizational effectiveness is all about being able to realize the intended outcomes in the most effective and efficient manner. 

It is a comprehensive concept which takes into consideration the performance of each aspect that contributes to the running of an organization. Employee performance, managerial effectiveness, process efficiency, collaboration between different areas and organizational behavior, collectively contribute to organizational effectiveness. Organizations ranking high on all or most of these parameters and others tend to rank in the higher rungs of effectiveness, while those that face gaps in these, struggle with optimal levels of performance.

Importance of organizational effectiveness

You can understand the importance of organizational effectiveness by studying its direct correlation with company success. As the effectiveness quotient of your organization goes up, your ability to serve all the stakeholders better as well as make greater profits increases. Here are a few factors that illustrate why you should focus on organizational effectiveness: 

Cost and resource efficiency

Effectiveness is closely associated with efficiency across the organization. Organizational effectiveness will enable you to achieve maximum output with minimum input as the performance level is optimal. At the same time, effectiveness ensures that resources, beyond financial ones, like human resources, technology assets, etc., are used and allocated efficiently. Invariably, organizational effectiveness will help you promote efficient allocation, considerably reducing costs and disbursing limited resources to promote best results.

Greater employee engagement

An effective organization is defined by great performance across all verticals, in a holistic manner. This suggests that employees who work in such organizations are able to deliver top performance, without compromising on their wellness, leveraging the efficient processes and practices. Invariably, this augments their work experience and promotes engagement which results in greater loyalty, retention and commitment, further, accentuating their performance.

Better customer outcomes

Organizational effectiveness definitely takes into account augmenting the efficacy of customer service channels. An effective organization supports its customers in the most promising manner to create a pleasant experience. Right from its offerings to its service, organizational effectiveness plays a major role in helping you enhance customer outcomes.

Impact on bottom line

Finally, overall effectiveness has a direct impact on your organization’s bottom line. When all parts of your company work like a well-oiled machine, the profits are bound to soar high. The bottom line is positively impacted by decreased costs, greater employee productivity, happier customers and overall increased efficiency and efficacy.

Top 4 organizational effectiveness approaches

From a macro level, you might equate organizational effectiveness with cost reduction. However, this all encompassing concept requires following a strategic and comprehensive approach based on specific objectives and principles. Based on experience of most fast growing organizations, you can follow these 4 organizational effectiveness approaches to commence and accelerate your journey to success:

Goal attainment approach

The first approach to organizational effectiveness majorly focuses on the goals and objectives achieved. Put simply, according to the goal attainment approach, you should start by setting a set of goals and objectives that you seek to achieve through various efforts, i.e. achievement of goals is the reason for existence of the organization. Therefore, for this approach, you can gauge organizational effectiveness by measuring how well your organization is able to achieve its goals, mainly in the form of profits and efficiency. While this approach is important to ensure how effectively an organization reaches its goals, the dynamic nature of the goals and varying scope of long-term vs short-term goals, makes it slightly challenging to use this to assess organizational effectiveness.

Systems resource approach

The systems resource approach came as an answer to the challenges of the goal attainment approach. While the latter focuses only on the end, the systems resource approach takes into account the means to the end. To adopt this approach, you need to understand that success of any organization depends not only on the goal it achieves, but how it achieves the same. Therefore, there is focus on how effectively you are able to acquire the resources needed to achieve the desired goals or outcomes. Here, effectiveness is not only a result of goal attainment, but rather depends on resource acquisition. However, the challenge majorly lies in the dilemma that higher resource acquisition does not always translate to greater performance or success.

Strategic constituency approach

According to the strategic constituency, organizations survive and thrive in an environment where their success is dependent on a number of stakeholders. These include the employees, managers, shareholders, customers, partners, suppliers, etc. Organizational effectiveness is, thus, contingent to the company’s ability to satisfy these constituencies in its environment. Effectiveness depends on how well your organization is able to identify its various strategic constituencies and their expectations and, thus, navigate ways to achieve the same. At the same time, since each constituency has its own goals, power and influence, organizational effectiveness depends on the efficacy of trade-offs between one constituency over the other, in case of a conflict.

Competing values approach

The final approach takes into account the competing values and goals that your organization strives to achieve. At any given point of time, you may be conflicted on competing values which lead to different outcomes, all of which are necessary for organizational success. For instance, you might want to induce structure and discipline, but at the same time, might wish to promote autonomy, innovation and flexibility. Likewise, competing values come in the form of increasing profits and customer satisfaction vs augmenting employee wellness. Therefore, organizational effectiveness, according to this approach, assesses a company’s ability to strike the right balance between such competing values to create a win-win situation for all.

How to measure organizational effectiveness?

Like any other parameter defining company success, measuring organizational effectiveness is extremely important. Without proper metrics to measure effectiveness, you will continue to struggle with performance improvement because of a lack of monitoring and tracking. Following are the top 3 approaches that you can leverage to measure organizational effectiveness:

External resource approach

Using the external resource approach, you can measure organizational effectiveness on the basis of how well you are able to acquire, manage and control valuable resources from the external environment to power their operations. Focus on factors like price of inputs, relations with external stakeholders, quality of inputs and human resources to gauge effectiveness.

Internal resource approach

You can leverage the internal resource approach to measure organizational effectiveness on the basis of your company’s ability to constantly innovate with agility and responsiveness. Here, you need to focus on the decision making time, level of innovation and creativity, resilience, time to market, level of conflict or collaboration. If you perform well on such parameters you are likely to have higher levels of effectiveness.

Technical approach

Finally, the third approach you can use requires you to measure your organization’s ability to convert or transform the acquired resources into high quality final output by leveraging innovation, agility and responsiveness. The objective is to deliver improved and higher quality of products and services that yield greater customer satisfaction and stickiness. This approach majorly measures the increase in product quality, reduction in defects or rejects, better customer service, etc.

Top 6 components of organizational effectiveness

According to organizational development experts, there are six components of organizational effectiveness. You must focus on these components in a holistics manner as they are highly interdependent and an integrated and comprehensive approach to them has the potential to guarantee organizational effectiveness. 


Leadership plays an integral role in promoting the effectiveness of an organization. Invariably, leaders have diverse roles to play right from creating a vision to ensuring the vision translates into reality with seamless processes and practices. You need to encourage and inspire your leadership to address three key questions to promote effectiveness. Firstly, the vision and values, i.e. the purpose of the organization and the unique value it brings to its customers. Secondly, the strategy and the approach, i.e. the most effective manner in which the organization will achieve its objectives and derive value. Thirdly, structure and alignment, i.e. balancing and aligning different components like strategy, technology, innovation, etc. to achieve desired results.


Communication is imperative to organizational effectiveness. You need to inculcate the thought across the organization that communication is not only about putting words to one’s thoughts. Strategic communication is all about ensuring that what is said clarifies the real intention behind it, and is not just stringing together some corporate buzzwords. You must spend your energy and efforts on creating a communication strategy for organizational effectiveness that focuses on clear messaging with no scope for ambiguity or excuses. Furthermore, you need to ensure that everyone is aligned on the shared vision as well as clear on what is expected out of them. Communication is not only about getting the message across, but also involves active listening and being receptive to feedback by diverse stakeholders.


Accountability is a key parameter that ensures that a company is able to deliver on its promises and promote organizational effectiveness. You need to focus on building a culture of accountability, both individual and collective. This suggests that while each individual is responsible and accountable for a piece of task, collectively, the entire organization is accountable for the big picture. Accountability involves expectation alignment to ensure clarity in who is expected to do what. Additionally, as the custodian of culture, you need to leverage incentives, rewards, and appreciation to promote accountability and high levels of performance.


Delivery primarily focuses on the experience that your organization is able to create for the end user or customers. Your effectiveness here largely depends on the satisfaction of your customers. It is not only about ensuring delivery, but also about promoting a seamless process of achieving the same. A simple and agile delivery process without too many steps is every customer’s dream. On the other hand, a delivery process fraught with complexities is likely to create a poor experience. Hence, for organizational effectiveness, you need to be agile and responsive to changing market conditions by improving your operations and processes to make delivery efficient and smooth.


Organizational effectiveness is largely dependent on the human capital of a company. Therefore, you need to put in best efforts to recruit, develop and retain the top talent. Start your process by onboarding the right talent with a robust hiring process which not only assesses the talent on their technical and hard skills but ensures a match on all levels for the role. In addition, to ascertain an optimal level of performance, you need to provide your employees with regular and adequate development opportunities. These include upskilling and training as well as mentoring and guidance to promote holistic growth. Finally, you need to facilitate retention and loyalty of employees. This requires fostering a culture of appreciation and acknowledgement, which highlights the impact of employee contribution to the overall company success.


Finally, the last component for organizational effectiveness requires you to focus on key metrics, performance indicators and trackers to measure and monitor business progress. Unless you closely measure each aspect of organizational performance with the right metrics, improving quality becomes difficult. You need to encourage your functional leaders to establish a set of standard metrics to measure performance at regular intervals and monitor the results. The measurement will enable you to gauge whether or not you are able to move the needle on important business parameters which collectively contribute to organizational effectiveness.

Improving organizational effectiveness through transformational leadership

Transformational leadership has the power and potential to augment organizational effectiveness exponentially. By promoting effectiveness on the below five parameters, you can enhance overall organizational effectiveness:


Start by creating and nurturing a culture that promotes effectiveness across the organization. A culture of effectiveness refers to one where attributes like efficiency and efficacy are valued. For instance, adherence to timelines, prompt response, agility, etc., are most likely to develop a culture that reaps effectiveness.


Employee experience directly translates to organizational effectiveness. This suggests that the more pleasant and positive experience employees have, the greater performance they will deliver, contributing to increased effectiveness. Higher engagement from experience promotes motivation, retention, loyalty and commitment towards work, which collectively add to organizational effectiveness. Invariably, you need to focus on promoting a positive experience by providing authentic leadership, regular reinforcement and opportunities to grow and thrive.


Your leaders must practice and display a commitment to organizational effectiveness. This involves not only having effectiveness practices and policies on paper, but also preaching them. When leaders constantly illustrate their commitment to effectiveness, it is likely to propagate in their teams, leading to a collective effort. At the same time, effectiveness must be practiced at all levels and across the organization. Be it hiring, or conducting meetings, or planning events, you always need to view it from an effectiveness lens.


As a part of strategy and processes, you need to ingrain efficiency and effectiveness as a part of the core values that define the organization. This suggests that efficiency and effectiveness must become synonymous with the organization for both internal and external stakeholders. Effectiveness in strategy is also about ensuring that the path to achieving the company’s goals and objectives is clear, seamless and simple. Strategy for overall goal achievement must be crystal clear to ensure easy comprehension and implementation.

Tools and technology

Finally, your leaders must innovate and experiment with the latest tools and technologies. The idea is to stay abreast with the latest industry trends to maintain a competitive advantage. Leveraging the latest tools and technologies is the best bet to augment efficiency as well as stay relevant.

Organizational effectiveness: The starting point

Promoting organizational effectiveness is a collective responsibility which falls on the shoulders of all the stakeholders of a company. An integrated approach that seeks to understand and serve the interest of each of these stakeholders is key to achieving organizational effectiveness. However, working on all aspects at once can be chaotic and self-defeating. Therefore, you must consider starting your  journey to improve organizational effectiveness by focusing on the internal stakeholders, i.e. the employees and the leadership. In such a situation, partnering with platforms like SuperBeings that gauge and augment employee experience as well as offer avenues for leadership development is something to bet on. Invariably, organizational effectiveness is integral to company success and those who start early on in the race are most likely to reach the top.

Suggested reading:

Promoting Manager Effectiveness at Work

Ultimate Guide to Building Organizational Culture

Like what you read? Now see it in action in your team, book a free demo with our experts today!

Dhanashree Jadhav

Community, SuperBeings

Hi! I am Dhanashree. I'm currently building a super community for talent management folks to gain knowledge and share experiences at SuperBeings

Latest posts

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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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