give constructive feedback

How Is Your Inability To Give Constructive Feedback Hurting Your Team?

It’s undeniable that good communication is the key to a healthy team. Feedback is essential to improving the team’s performance. Its vital role cannot be understated. However, things can go south if a manager does not provide adequate constructive feedback. Sometimes, the manager may not understand the crucial role feedback plays and neglect it. But what happens when the manager isn’t able to give constructive feedback? The team can quickly start to feel frustrated, lost, and demoralized. This blog aims to explain the importance of constructive feedback, what happens in the lack of it, and how to provide it effectively. Doing so will ensure that your team feels confident and supported, leading to a stronger and more productive work environment.

What is Constructive Feedback?

As we understand, feedback simply refers to the supervisor’s comments on the job done by the employees. It can include their views, an appraisal, or other information regarding the task. Constructive feedback takes it one step ahead. Constructive feedback is crafted to aid improvement in the team. It should be specific, action-oriented, and timely. It will help the individual receiving feedback to understand what they need to work on more closely and how they can improve their skills. Along with comments, the managers also highlight areas that need extra effort and suggest solutions for better performance. The final goal is to help and guide the individual towards a better performance.

Constructive feedback is not harmful simply because it aims at improvement. On the contrary – constructive criticism allows people to learn from their mistakes while still maintaining some sense of pride in their accomplishments. An external perspective gives them a bird’s eye view of their actions. When people see their actions together, they can look for loopholes and possible opportunities for improvement.

Why Is It Important For Managers To Give Constructive Feedback?

Giving constructive feedback is one of the most important tasks that a manager can undertake. It’s important for two primary reasons: it ensures that employees perform to the best of their ability and helps maintain positive relationships with employees. If done correctly, constructive feedback can positively impact team performance and overall morale. It’s an essential part of the manager’s job, and they must be able to give feedback in the right way for the best outcome.

Giving constructive feedback can be difficult, but it is an important part of team building. Feedback must be given to the receiver will understand and appreciate it. Too often, feedback is given in a way that the recipient feels attacked or misunderstood. Additionally, feedback that is not actionable or timely can be ineffective and even harmful. When providing feedback, it is important to be specific, actionable, and timely. Doing so will help the receiver understand the task and take the necessary steps to improve. Ultimately, providing constructive feedback is essential for healthy team culture.

What Happens In The Lack Of Constructive Feedback?

As we have noted, constructive feedback is immensely helpful in guiding people in their journeys. Instead of figuring out everything independently, they can directly begin working as someone has identified areas that need attention. The lack of constructive feedback slowly but surely impacts the team in many ways. The team suffers due to:

Improvement Becomes Difficult

Feedback, when done smartly, helps employees lay out an improvement plan. It is crucial in the development of a growth journey for individuals. The lack of feedback makes it difficult to know where you stand. Consequently, employees will not be able to understand whether they need improvement or not. The burden on self-assessment becomes too high. Additionally, the advantage of an outsider’s experienced view is lost. Effectively, the employee is left to their means to see where they can go.

Moreover, the question of how to improve goes unresolved. A manager or a leader who provides feedback can also suggest solutions that they might be aware of, owing to experience and expertise. Without this, the employee has to look for avenues themselves. Due to a lack of knowledge, they will have a hard time evaluating the alternatives present in front of them. All in all, employees’ learning journey faces a major roadblock when feedback is replaced with silence. Individuals may feel lost or unsure about what steps they need to take for the team to function at its best.

Employee Morale And Engagement Falls

Feedback is a great way for managers and leaders to establish regular communication with their teams. Managers can build great relationships with their employees through performance reviews and one-on-one meetings. These connections make them feel valued and serve as motivational tools. In the absence of constructive feedback, employees start to feel lost. They do not understand their role in the organization and their expectations. This leads to a sense of unease or confusion among team members.

Lack of engagement can also be seen as a morale issue since it significantly impacts productivity. In fact, research has shown employees who are engaged with their teams regularly receive feedback, as opposed to those who are not. As a result, organizations should ensure that all employees receive regular feedback to grow and learn. Feedback boosts employee morale and leads to better performance as it promotes personal growth.

Employee Dissatisfaction Rises

Employees start to feel discontent when feedback is missing. This stems from the fact that they do not understand what their counterparts are doing or how they can improve. As a result, many employees turn to other avenues to figure out what they need to do for the team to function at its best. Often, this leads them down a path of dissatisfaction as they look for someone else who can provide them with constructive feedback.

Sometimes, these individuals leave their jobs due to a lack engagement and satisfaction. This can also happen as they cannot envisage any professional development for themselves in the situation. Furthermore, when an employee does leave their job, it can cause a ripple effect in the team since other members start to feel disgruntled. This ultimately leads to turnover rates being much higher than expected.

Growth Stagnates

When feedback is not given, employees do not grow as they should. This results in them stagnating at their current level and becoming less capable of meeting the demands posed by their work. Furthermore, when people are provided with constructive feedback but don’t feel like it is helping them achieve their goals, they may become complacent. This means they stop trying hard because they think things will automatically improve on their own accord.

As a result, team productivity levels can take a significant hit, and progress may even come to a standstill. The team begins working at a lower level as members fail to grow due to a lack of feedback and constructive criticism. This can lead to a less productive environment and, ultimately, decreased profits. Effectively, growth stagnates at one point as people begin to become complacent in the absence of expressed oversight.

Withholding feedback or giving it destructively hurts the recipient and the team as a whole. It’s important to be clear and concise with feedback so that the recipient can understand and implement it effectively. This way, everyone can work towards the common goal – creating a successful team!

Common Reasons Managers Do Not Give Constructive Feedback

When it comes to giving constructive feedback, many people often struggle for a few reasons.

  • Managers do not know how to give feedback: First of all, it’s hard to know when or how to give feedback, and when you finally do, employees may not appreciate it. Crafting constructive feedback requires time, effort, and sincerity on behalf of the person giving the feedback. A new manager, in particular, may not know how to give feedback.
  • Feedback takes time: Moreover, giving individual feedback is a huge task, especially in bigger teams. The managers may find it difficult to give attention to each employee when they are spread too thin.
  • Manager might feel uncomfortable: Further, people often feel shy or uncomfortable when giving feedback, especially if they don’t know the person they’re giving feedback to. They may also be afraid of making their team member feel uncomfortable or criticized. The fear of demotivating employees can make managers hold back too.
  • Personal relations may get involved: Apart from these common struggles, other factors sometimes influence how people give feedback. For example, a person’s status in the company or relationship with the team member might impact how they give feedback. If a manager fears that a relationship will be jeopardized, they might hesitate before giving feedback to employees.
  • Fear of negative reaction: Managers might hold back from giving feedback due to the expected reaction too. For feedback to work, the employee needs to see it as support rather than criticism. The manager will be discouraged if the employee reacts defensively to receiving feedback.

How To Give Better Constructive Feedback?

If you’re struggling to give constructive feedback, it’s likely because you’re uncomfortable with it. But don’t worry, there are a few ways to get over your fear and give feedback that is both effective and helpful.

  • One way is to offer help where possible – coaching is one way to provide constructive feedback effectively. It also helps to be aware of your tone of voice – it should be respectful and encouraging. Next, make a plan for giving feedback.
  • Know what you want to say and when. And importantly, be clear and concise in your feedback.
  • Feedback should be given as soon as possible after the situation has been corrected, so the recipient can understand and learn from the experience.
  • Read here to know how managers can become pro at constructive feedback.
  • Check out 10 examples of positive feedback that employers can give.


The lack of constructive feedback can hurt team morale and productivity. Managers must be aware of the importance of feedback and ensure that it is given in a constructive and meaningful way. By following these tips, you can help your team to grow and develop in the right way. So what are you waiting for? Start giving constructive feedback today!

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