Giving Employee Feedback

The Ritz-Carlton Perspective

When your employees receive consistent feedback throughout the year, they will not be surprised or blindsided at their annual reviews.

DOs and DON’Ts of Giving Employee Feedback

  • DO be clear and direct when giving feedback. Commenting on an employee’s work performance is not always easy, but if you sugarcoat your comments too much the employee may not hear your main point.
  • DON’T be offensive or rude. Never insult or belittle an employee as you’re giving feedback, or you’ll risk demoralizing your employee. Take a positive approach by treating shortcomings as opportunities for training and improvement.
  • DO give your employee a chance to talk. Your employee might have valuable insight into an existing problem. Also, your employee may be grateful for the opportunity to discuss possible solutions.
  • DON’T give negative feedback in public. It is better to praise in public and share constructive criticism in private. Hearing feedback is often embarrassing and challenging for employees, and they will feel less vulnerable if their peers aren’t witnessing the conversation.
  • DO focus on facts. Sharing your feelings can be perceived as subjective and unfair, but if you focus on the issues, then it becomes less personal and more about the situation. For example, instead of saying, “I feel you’re not working as hard as you could,” you could say, “You didn’t meet your quota/deadline.”
  • DON’T give feedback when you’re angry or frustrated. When you’re upset, you may say things you’ll regret later. Wait until you are calm and levelheaded to have a professional conversation.