How to deliver feedback

How to deliver feedback


When an employee is skipping work, missing deadlines or is as useful as a glass hammer it’s enough to pull your hair out. Don’t stay quiet and hope they snap out of it on their own. This way isn’t going to benefit your business or your blood pressure. Giving someone the chance to improve is a hell of a lot easier than firing someone. If you're a small business and afford to lose an employee you can find support here


Nah, we're not talking about the last sandwich at the servo. Many managers use the 'shit sandwich' as a way to soften the blow of negative feedback. Positive + negative + positive = shit sandwich! 

In a study by Ayelet Fishbach, a professor of behavioural science at the University of Chicago, divided her class into two groups. Half the class gave negative feedback to the other half. Surprisingly, the group that received negative feedback thought they were doing great! 


When you serve up a fresh, hot shit sandwich to someone, they're more likely to walk away talking about the bread. 


  1. Note the behaviour that's holding the employee back.
  2. Explain why the behaviour is causing a problem.
  3. Have the person reflect back on the importance of the behaviour.
  4. Finally, let them figure out how to fix it. 


Employees aren't all the same. Shocking we know. So why deliver feedback the same? One of the biggest mistakes employers make is delivering feedback in the same way to different people. 

A way to correct this is to tailor your tone to the employee's personality. For example, a more experienced employee might seek out negative feedback as a way to improve. New employees would enjoy constructive feedback to build up confidence in their work. If you're having issues with an apprentice, we have a post on How To Get The Best Out Of Your Apprentice.


Feedback shouldn't be used to punish or blame the employee. Provide clear, specific guidelines on what is acceptable and not in the workplace. And explain why. 

It turns out that negative feedback isn’t always effective at improving employee performance.

Instead of pointing out someone’s weaknesses, try praising them when they do something good. When you highlight their strengths, they’ll feel valued and will actually work harder.