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How to Give Effective Performance Feedback

Author: Brightmine Editorial Team

Feedback is at the heart of any performance management system. Whether provided informally during day-to-day operations or during a formal performance review, feedback informs employees about their performance and opens a dialogue for them to better understand their roles and responsibilities so they can improve. Done well, it also provides encouragement and can boost morale.

Employees want feedback. A 2019 Reflektive survey found that 92% of employees prefer to receive feedback more often than once a year during an annual performance review. When asked how often they want feedback, nearly half of the employees (49%) want formal feedback conversations with their manager at least weekly, and 72% said at least monthly. A 2021 Joblist survey found that one-third of employees would like to receive more feedback from their supervisors, and that employees who are provided regular feedback report being more confident in their work and having greater trust and communication with their managers.

Providing accurate and effective feedback also helps employers retain employees:

  • Companies that implement effective employee feedback have 15% lower turnover rates.
  • 68% of employees who receive accurate and consistent feedback feel fulfilled in their jobs.

However, providing inaccurate feedback or giving it in an ineffective way, particularly when it is given as part of a performance review, may do more harm than good and present serious problems for employers. In fact, the Reflektive survey found:

  • 85% of employees would consider quitting after an unfair performance review;
  • More than 50% are "very likely" or "extremely likely" to quit.

The following steps can help you provide more effective performance feedback to an employee.