How to receive and give feedback as an HR

Do you know that communication is the key to a positive work culture?

With this regard, giving and receiving feedback is an effective tool for HR professionals if they want to maintain a positive work culture in their workplace. Even the best performers are not aware if they are doing well at their work. They will not know if they are meeting expectations unless you tell them.

Hence, it is important to give them feedback regularly with empathy. Every employee values positive feedback. But, what about constructive feedback?

Many employees are scared of such constructive feedback and hence we need conversations around them. As an HR professional, you need to regularly understand and manage disagreements and assist supervisors on how to tackle and offer constructive feedback. Of course, without harming your co-worker’s self-respect.

Although giving constructive feedback is hard, it should be managed well. In this blog, we shall discuss various ways to receive and give feedback. Be it hard conversations, company closures and terminations to performance improvement plans, or misunderstanding, and conflicts; every important aspect of sharing and receiving feedback will be disclosed in this blog.

As an HR professional, you will be able to steer employees in the right direction and help establish a healthy boundary and put limits on the unacceptable behavior of managers and subordinates.

Let us begin to understand more!

1. Know the personality of the employee!

Depending on the personality traits, thought process, behavior in the office, you need to share feedback and access their performance accordingly. Alert your team members on the assessment activity that you are going to undertake. This way you can better uncover how to interact with each other and how to provide feedback. By doing this assessment, you will figure out various communication styles of employees.

2. Be specific and show empathy

What you share with your employee should have answers to their problems instead of offering them unsolicited advice. Be specific on what you would like your employee to do and offer guidance on how they can apply the feedback.

Having empathy towards your employees is another factor for effective communication. Before you speak with an employee, be prepared to give them the space they’ll need to feel shocked upon receiving your feedback.

3. Understand communication styles

Once you know the personality, you need to know how employees communicate. I have shared with you four different communication styles:

I. Analyticals: These kinds of employees expect accuracy from co-workers. They like to pay attention to small things at work. When you give feedback, make sure you have enough documented evidence with examples. Explain where they are lacking with specific examples and proof.

II. Drivers: Employees who adopt this communication style are confident individuals but can make impulsive decisions sometimes. They avoid getting into details and it is advised to give them quick, brief, and to the point feedback.

III. Amiable: If you come across a co-worker who is supportive and easy-going, then the person comes under this category. They are sensitive employees, so make sure that you use words carefully while interacting with them.

IV. Expressive: They have good energy, and they love to talk. Sometimes such behavior results in poor performance due to a lack of focus at work. They need to feel heard so make sure to add a few questions in your feedback.

4. Tips to give constructive criticism

Now, we have discussed ways to interact based on the individual communication styles of employees. Let us dig more and understand how to give constructive criticism without alienating people. Here are a few key pointers to consider while and before providing constructive criticisms.

  • · Meet privately

  • · Begin with humility and appreciation

  • · Use examples often to cite unacceptable behavior

  • · Make sure that the person receiving the feedback understands why she needs to change her behavior

  • · State expectations

  • · State the consequences of wrong behavior

  • · Praise achievements, if any ,

In addition to giving constructive criticism, see to it that the feedback that you share sounds developmental rather than a criticism. Such feedback will help an employee to look at your feedback from a positive point of view.

5. Receiving Feedback

As you share constructive criticism, it is likely that the employee who learns about it might respond negatively. So be ready to understand and receive feedback. Supervisors are advised to let their staff know that it is okay for them to voice their concerns. Regardless of whatsoever feedback supervisors receive from subordinates, they should show gratitude and encouragement for being honest and transparent.


It is true that receiving and giving feedback is hard, but the payoff includes better team communication and even more opportunities. You should reflect on what you have heard and show that you have understood the facts, feelings, and attitudes communicated.