Dexcomm Blog

How to Give and Receive Constructive Feedback in the Workplace

March 06, 2019

Constructive feedback, workplace feedback, positive feedback

Constructive feedback is the cheapest, most powerful, yet, most underused tool that we have at our disposal.  As this Fast Company article points out, “If provided effectively, feedback can inspire, uplift, and motivate the recipient to do better. However, if the job is botched, bad feedback can result in lingering anger, demotivation, resentment, loss of respect, and permanent damage to the relationship.” Giving and receiving constructive feedback is undoubtedly a delicate process but there is no denying its benefits in helping to identify issues and solving them. Unfortunately, it carries such a negative connotation because most of our experiences with it are focused around criticism rather than reinforcing how we can improve.

As an employee you should have goals in mind that will guide your professional development and constructive feedback can be used to achieve those goals. As a leader it is part of your job to provide your employees with effective feedback, so they have access to all the necessary tools to reach their fullest potential. This also will open doors for communication within your office because believe it or not there is a price to pay for poor communication throughout the workplace.

Giving Feedback

While it’s completely understandable why giving your employees constructive feedback would make you uncomfortable-studies show that that’s exactly what most of your employees want to hear.  Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman conducted a study in 2014 on employees' attitudes towards “positive” and “corrective” feedback, and the results were that an astonishing 92% believed “negative” feedback was more effective in improving overall performance.

Negative Feedback Chart

Another interesting take away from the study is that those employees who favored constructive feedback also rated their managers highest for being honest and straightforward, linking to better communication within the office space. This can be considered one of the most proactive ways to help in ensuring employees are meeting expectations and challenging themselves professionally. When given properly, constructive feedback can help your employees reach their professional goals. Here are some tips on how to give effective constructive feedback:

  1. Schedule a one-on-one session
  2. Show respect
  3. Stay objective
  4. Be specific
  5. Provide ideas for improvement
  6. Find a solution together
  7. Schedule a follow up

Receiving Feedback

Potentially hearing negative things about yourself or your work is probably not your favorite thing to do, but it is a moment that we have all dealt with at some point in our careers. Without constructive feedback we would be oblivious to our faults and our areas that need improvement. Naturally, most of us would rather avoid these conversations all together but when taken in the right spirit receiving constructive feedback can help improve our weaknesses and help our overall performance. Like most things in life you must start somewhere and begin that initial line of communication. These are some of the toughest moments we will face in our careers but if you follow these steps, you'll be just fine:

  1. Have an open mind
  2. Do not show your frustration
  3. Don’t take it personally
  4. Follow up with a positive action

Constructive feedback in the workplace is important as all workplaces need effective communication to achieve maximum success. Giving and receiving constructive feedback is one of the main factors in career growth. It allows you to become more aware of your strengths and areas that need improvement. Allowing this type of communication in the workplace boosts morale, keeps workplace culture alive and improves employee engagement. Communication is key in every workplace, so make sure that it is something you’re not neglecting.

 

Dexcomm prides itself on its core values and one of those core values is personal growth. A quote from our website reads, “We proactively seek out opportunities for continued growth and development better with each day for the benefit of the customer, the company, and our personal improvement.” Each employee possesses this core value and as a team, we strive to provide every customer with the best service possible. 

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Dexcomm is a Louisiana-based corporation that provides answering services to businesses and service agencies across the United States. We have been open since 1954, employ a staff of roughly 50 people, and our average client retention rate is 10+ years.

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Read More About The Author: Ashley Plauche

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