The Power of Feedback at Work

Having a consistent feedback cycle within your team can bring numerous benefits and growth opportunities for both: your team and the company. Feedback can be defined as a tool to comprehend how others perceive our work and personality while providing an avenue for expressing our thoughts on our colleagues and supervisors and their work. It holds extensive utility and should not be limited to performance evaluation alone; rather, it should be viewed as a powerful instrument for fostering a productive, joyful, and healthy work environment. 

To ensure that feedback works in favor of the team and organization without causing any damage, it needs to be effective which means specific, objective, actionable, timely, and supportive. The goal is to help the recipients identify and enhance their strengths and provide recommendations for improvement areas. For example, let’s examine the following feedback: “I think that’s the wrong approach to doing the assignment. My suggestion is to start all over again” This might make the receiver feel discouraged and unmotivated, and then it will require more communication and clarifications and can lead to a loss of productivity and motivation. On the other hand, it can be constructively changed to “Great that you’ve taken time to consider the task yourself. Let’s take it as a starting point and make some adjustments”. The outcome of this conversation will likely have a positive reaction from the person who has received the feedback.  

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Positive feedback should be given to colleagues who have done exemplary work, excelled at assignments, or demonstrated outstanding teamwork, among other accomplishments. You can take advantage of it and make it a valuable and motivational case. Firstly and most importantly, you must address the ‘what’ of the feedback, which turns to the observed positive behavior. Then expand the ‘what’ into ‘why’, explaining what was so good about the behavior stated. For example, having this feedback: “Your product demo was excellent today” What do I do with it further? That’s when the ‘why’ part brings value: “The story was precise and easy to follow, plus you emphasized the needed features.” Providing more structured feedback can reinforce this information to stick with the people receiving it, with the main goal of good actions, behavior, and practices. 

Positive feedback can provide a feeling of appreciation and connection to the team, leading to a more dedicated employee who finds more meaning in the job. Besides, this can help increase engagement and productivity, and when working in such an environment employees are more likely to stay at the company. 

On the other hand, constructive feedback shouldn’t be avoided, and it can refer to someone’s attitude, behaviors, and habits that are causing issues. Giving constructive feedback properly and adequately can become a powerful tool for improvement and growth. 

Here are some recommendations on how to give constructive feedback. First, make it a one-on-one conversation, and avoid giving constructive feedback in front of other teammates, especially if the person doesn’t feel comfortable. Constructive feedback should point to a behavior, not a person. Try giving feedback sooner rather than later, stick to work-related facts, and discuss how to overcome the situation with future events. You can also state the results you expect, and most importantly, you should be an active listener asking for suggestions and alternatives for the person you are talking to because they might have a different perspective than yours. One additional recommendation is to finish the conversation positively, thanking the people or person for their time and willingness to take the information provided to improve in their weak areas.

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If you are the recipient of constructive feedback, embrace a positive mindset. Being open to learning can help you improve your approach and performance. Also, try to participate actively, asking questions and making comments. Analyze the situation, and if you find valid arguments, take responsibility for your actions because we all make mistakes, and the point is to learn from them to be better at what you do. In addition, don’t be shy to ask for help. Ask about what you do well to make them visible, and set a follow-up session to ensure you are on the right track.  When not receiving constructive feedback, you risk being unconscious of something that is not properly working or that you are doing it correctly and not having a clue that you are underperforming as expected by your company standards. As a result, you might be impacting others and their behavior without noticing it.

Starting a feedback-sharing environment in the workplace is not something you can achieve overnight. It needs to be arranged strategically. You can start by setting goals, and expectations and planning the occurrence and team dynamics. Explore different techniques to understand what fits better to your team or organization. Once there is a defined feedback-nurturing culture, the benefits of it are multiple: the team can feel more connected, which builds trust and leads to healthier relationships at work. These positive changes, in turn, influence how the department shares goals, deals with challenges, and supports each team member. 

When feedback is effective, it gives a sense of purpose and value, leading to increased engagement and employees finding meaningful the job they perform. Even when feedback is constructive, it is a great starting point for improvement and a sign that each and everyone’s work is being acknowledged. As it has been mentioned above, the benefits of both positive and constructive feedback are multiple. I hope this writing helps you and your team feel more comfortable when feedback cycles come, or why not, to start defining feedback processes within your team and or organization.

Marjorie Valverde
Sr. Software Engineer



Majkic, Aleksandra. “The Power of Feedback in Your Daily Work.” Pluralsight, Accessed 4 11 2022.

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