The role of a manager has many facets, including the responsibility to give quality feedback to colleagues. Your support is crucial in creating an environment where employees feel valued, can develop their skills and contribute to the success of the company.

Quality feedback is not only a tool for the personal growth of your colleagues, but also a fundamental building block of a good organizational culture. To avoid misinterpretation of messages and possible negative reactions while achieving the desired progress, the way in which you communicate this information is crucial.

I have put together six guidelines on how you as a manager can give feedback even more effectively:

1 Give feedback frequently

Feedback does not necessarily have to be a performance review. There is no need for lengthy narratives and detailed comments. It is most effective when it is frequent and consistent, empowering your team members and guiding them towards achieving their goals. Instead of waiting for development discussions, provide feedback regularly after projects or at weekly meetings. This way, your team members can recognize best practices immediately and you can address potential issues quickly.

2 Give feedback promptly

The timing of feedback is crucial as it is most effective when the “iron is still hot”. For example, imagine that your colleague achieved outstanding results in a recent marketing campaign. Instead of praising this achievement a month later, do so as soon as the project is completed. This will reinforce the impression that your colleague’s work is noticed and appreciated.

3 Be kind and caring

The person giving feedback should be a source of support, trust and guidance. Always think of your colleagues as team members working towards a common goal and maintain a sincere and empathetic relationship with them. When giving feedback, you can say, for example, “I really liked the way you structured the presentation clearly. Next time you can emphasize practical examples even more.”

4 Be open-minded

An open dialog opens the door to more possibilities and joint solutions. Instead of just telling your team members how they can improve their contribution to a project, ask them what they think could be done differently. For example, you can ask: “How would you approach this situation?” Open-ended questions encourage team members to think and actively participate in finding solutions.

5 Be specific

General feedback for its own sake is not very useful. It is important to be specific and, if possible, back up your comments with examples. Be prepared to give further explanation. If you want your colleague to improve a report, do not just tell them to “correct” it”. Give more specific advice and suggestions for improvement.

6 Monitor progress regularly

To achieve concrete goals or improve performance, it is important to set clear, time-bound and measurable goals and steps. Involve your team members in the development of clearly defined goals and steps. Of course, you should review progress regularly and encourage team members to report on their performance. Make it clear that you are available for additional support if needed.

Feedback is a two-way street. When we give and receive feedback with this in mind, the benefit is mutual. Growth is mutual. It is therefore beneficial for companies to promote and cultivate a feedback culture, be it through regular development discussions, praise or by asking for opinions on one’s own work (e.g. peer-to-peer feedback).