Giving feedback is at the core of what, we, as managers do. It shapes how our teams align with the firm’s objectives and walk lockstep towards that vision. However, being effective feedback givers, is a challenge. Even the most well-meaning of us managers, can, sometimes turn a constructive process into a demotivating experience, for the team member as well as ourselves!

This guide shines a light on the top 5 mistakes we make while giving feedback. This is valid whether you lead a fast-paced contact centers team or a creative team with long deadlines, or a project based team with multiple moving parts. These errors, and insights will help refine your feedback strategy, making every one-on-one conversation build a more motivated and engaged team. Google’s research on effective managers had 6 out of the 10 pointers are around feedback!

Understanding the Importance of Effective Feedback

Feedback, when done right, can be a powerful tool for enhancing employee performance and fostering a culture of continuous improvement. Rather than pointing out what’s wrong, feedback can be about growth and development of your team members.

Impact of feedback on employee performance

The impact of feedback on employee performance is profound. Constructive criticism helps employees understand what they are doing well and where they might improve. This clarity increases their confidence, motivates them to excel in their roles, and helps in identifying their skill gaps. Effective feedback can transform an average performer into a star contributor by aligning their efforts with the team’s goals and expectations.

Features of Effective Feedback

Effective feedback has several key features. Firstly, it’s timely, provided not months after the fact but soon after the observed behavior. Secondly, it’s specific; rather than vague comments, it offers clear examples. It also focuses on behavior, not personality, is actionable, giving employees a clear path to improvement. And it’s balanced, mixing positive reinforcement with constructive criticism to motivate rather than discourage.

Top 5 Mistakes we make When Giving Feedback as a Manager

As a manager, providing feedback is part of your job. Understanding how people think, act and decide can help improve the effectiveness of your feedback and engagement of your team.

1. Lack of specificity in feedback

One of the most common mistakes managers make is providing feedback that’s too vague. We use phrases like “You’re doing a great job” or “You need to do better” that dont give enough information to understand what they should keep doing or change. Instead, aim to be specific. For instance, you might say, “Your ability to resolve customer issues on the first call consistently exceeded our target by 20%, boosting our customer satisfaction scores.”

2. Not offering Actionable Solutions

Providing feedback without actionable solutions is like pointing out that a ship is off course without suggesting how to correct it. It’s crucial not only to highlight areas for improvement but also to offer concrete suggestions on what can be done differently. For example, if a team member struggles with their call handling time in a contact center, suggest specific training or tactics they could employ to manage calls more efficiently.

3. Ignoring the power of positive feedback

We typically focus our thoughts on things like “here are the 5 things you need to change”. Negative feedback often takes center stage in performance discussions, overshadowing the crucial role of positive feedback. Recognizing and reinforcing what an employee is doing right is essential for their motivation and confidence. Positive feedback tells your team members what behaviors they should continue. It helps them understand their strengths and how these contribute to their success and that of the team.


4. Delaying feedback or not providing it regularly

Waiting for an annual review to provide feedback is a missed opportunity for growth and improvement. Feedback should be an ongoing process, not a once-a-year event. Regular feedback helps correct issues early before they become ingrained habits and keeps employees aligned with their goals. It’s also more relevant, as the details of the events are fresh in everyone’s mind.

5. Being inconsistent with feedback

Consistency is crucial when it comes to feedback. If your feedback is inconsistent (saying one thing one day and the opposite the next), it can create confusion and diminish trust. Employees may also perceive bias or unfair treatment, which can lead to resentment. Strive to be consistent in how and when you provide feedback, ensuring that all team members are subject to the same standards.

Strategies for Effective Feedback Delivery

When it comes to harnessing the power of feedback to enhance team performance and morale, the delivery approach plays a crucial role. Implementing strategic methods can transform feedback from a dreaded interaction into a growth opportunity. Here are some key strategies to consider when giving feedback as a manager.

Aim for Weekly Feedback

Timeliness is everything. Feedback should be given as close to the event as possible. Whether it’s to applaud an achievement or to address a mistake, immediate feedback ensures the situation is fresh in everyone’s mind, making the advice more relevant and actionable. For example, if an employee excels in a client presentation, commend them shortly afterward to reinforce those positive behaviors. Similarly, if a mistake occurs, addressing it swiftly can prevent future occurrences and allow for quick corrective measures. It’s crucial, however, to choose an appropriate time and place to maintain the dignity and privacy of the conversation.

The frequency of feedback can have a significant impact on productivity. worxogo Behavior Labs analyzed teams and manager interactions over a 6-month period and found two distinct groups. Managers who frequently gave feedback and those that didn’t. The difference in productivity was stark – team members getting feedback twice a week improved >5% MoM compared to teams who got feedback only once a month.

The optimal frequency of feedback is twice a week.

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Cover your entire team

Research shows that managers often target their feedback on the wrong reps. It’s natural for managers to focus on either ends of the performance scale – the best and the worst. Experts say, “In research involving thousands of reps, we found that coaching — even world-class coaching — has a marginal impact on either the weakest or the strongest performers in the sales organization.” Because this means the majority of the team – the 60% of middle performers – get overlooked.

Teams lose out on 40% of productivity by overlooking the average performer. HBR authors write, ““The real payoff from good coaching lies among the middle 60% — your core performers. For this group, the best-quality coaching can improve performance…” 

But trying to cover a large team with consistent feedback can look like an impossible task. This is when AI tools can help managers by being a performance wingman. Digital coaches can help managers personalize their interactions and cover their entire team while giving feedback. For instance, one team that used worxogo Nudge Coach saw a 20% increase in productivity – just by focussing the team lead’s attention on the middle performers.

Inspire trust with objectivity and data

Building trust as a manager is a crucial aspect of effective leadership. When it comes to giving feedback, it’s important to inspire trust in your team members by being objective and using data to support your evaluations. By doing so, you can create an open and honest environment that fosters growth and improvement.

Feedback can sometimes come across as being unfair and biased, even when it is not. This is when team members have blind-spots in their performance – things they simply cannot fix because they don’t even see it as an issue. In fact, these areas are usually where they are weak. Behavior Science refer to this as the Dunning-Kruger effect. This can be frustrating to managers who are trying to improve these behaviors since they can’t even get their the rep/agent to see the problem.

The best way to address the Dunning-Kruger effect is to use feedback to correct an inaccurate picture of one’s own performance. And of course, increase awareness of what is expected and the rules of the game. 

Successful teams provide a single view of performance to their teams. Rather than tracking various metrics in different tools or spreadsheets, worxogo Nudge Coach provides individual team members with a singular view of 1. What they are expected to do, 2. All the metrics that are important. An objective view of a balanced scorecard helps reps understand where they’re not doing so well.

When teams have this view, and feedback is tagged to these metrics, it inspires trust, and helps reps/agents action the feedback better.

Implementing these strategies requires patience, practice, and a genuine commitment to the growth and development of your team. By focusing on timely, balanced, and culture-oriented feedback, managers can create a more engaged, motivated, and high-performing team.



Navigating the art of feedback is crucial for any manager aiming to foster a positive and productive work environment. By focussing on specific, frequent, data-backed feedback that covers the entire team, managers can significantly improve their team’s performance and engagement. Remember, effective feedback isn’t just about pointing out areas for improvement; it’s about encouraging growth, acknowledging achievements, and building stronger relationships within your team.

worxogo nudge Coach can help your managers give their teams frequent and personalized feedback within seconds. Click Get a Demo to see how.