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How to provide colleagues with feedback on their performance

Updated March 23, 2017

Feedback to colleagues can help improve their performance. You cannot expect someone to improve his job performance if no one ever tells him how he's doing. Even if the employee is doing an outstanding job, a lack of communication can turn an extremely motivated colleague into an unmotivated colleague. Providing feedback to your colleagues can be very awkward, but there are ways to make the situation more comfortable.

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  1. Be honest with your colleagues. If you are providing feedback to your colleagues, you will be doing them a disservice if you are not honest and straightforward. You may garner the best results by talking with each colleague individually so there is an element of confidentially.

  2. Use examples to explain your laud or your critique. Your colleagues will be more accepting of your feedback if you use examples from their performance to explain why you praised a particular part or why you may have critiqued something else.

  3. Be objective when delivering feedback. If your colleagues believe your feedback is bias because of favouritism, they cannot learn from it. According to Psychology Today, feedback is better respected if it can stand on its own versus being seen as a personal or political agenda.

  4. Deliver negative feedback in a positive way. If the feedback you need to deliver to your colleagues will be sensitive in nature because their performance was less than perfect; you should think about what you want to say first, so you can turn the negative into a positive. For example, maybe their job performance was bad because they forgot to include a particular protocol being implemented by your organisation. You could say, "In the future, you should include the correct protocol during your presentation" versus saying something like, "You failed to include the correct protocol". Delivering the feedback in a positive way will lead your colleagues to discover what they did wrong.

  5. Choose your words carefully. If you are providing written feedback to you colleagues, you may want to choose your words carefully. Certain words and phrases can be read a lot more callous than you intended, so be sure to reread your feedback and put yourself on the receiving end of the comments before providing your colleagues with the feedback.

  6. Launch an online feedback forum. The traditional performance reviews that take place twice a year will not suffice for some of your colleagues. Some employees like to get feedback before, during and after each project. To offer this kind of response, you could create some kind of online forum in the workplace where feedback and other concerns can be an ongoing experience.

  7. Tip

    If you cannot be honest in your feedback because you are friends with a particular colleague explain that to your friend instead of offering unwarranted praise.


    Extremely harsh feedback can cause an employee to shutdown or tune you out. Try to be constructive with criticism.

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Things You'll Need

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About the Author

LaShon Fryer began freelance writing in 2006 while pursuing her Bachelor's Degree in Communications from Temple University. Her articles have been published on the Web sites: Spend On Life, Powerful Voices for Kids and The Media Education Lab. Currently, Fryer is pursuing her Masters Degree in Broadcasting Telecommunications and Mass Media at her Alma Mater.

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