How to Offer Good Employee Feedback


No one wants feedback…truthfully. 

Nearly everyone including your employees are scared to receive feedback. Isn’t it true?

Me too. 

I might say I love to receive feedback, but do I really? I do appreciate it, but when someone wants to give me their feedback (especially when not asked), it irks my belly for a second, I think…oh my god! What did I do wrong, and then I feel yuck! 

I don’t want feedback, yet I tell myself, “Nandu, be open to it, you might learn something new. Calm down, nothing bad will happen, and what’s the worst-case scenario? Listen to it and let it go”. Only after I have had this internal dialogue with myself, I’m ready to listen to someone who has some feedback for me (by the way all of this happens in under 1 second…before I say, sure I’d love some feedback, thanks)

So, Do you want some feedback?

Hahaha…Don’t worry, I’m not here to give you any feedback. I’m going to share 2 ways you can give your employees feedback without them getting defensive, feel like they did something wrong or worse tighten up and stop listening.

These 2 methods of offering good feedback have worked to uplift employees and improve performance without them feeling bad about themselves.

You can use either of the 2 methods listed below, or you can choose to use a medley of both (my personal preference) as I have described in #3.


#1. Tough feedback: Offering feedback that is to the point, clear, and tough with a touch of compassion and empathy for the employee, their challenges, and their ways of thinking.

E.g., John, you didn’t achieve your average guest check target of $29. You achieved $26.50 this month. You should have put more emphasis on achieving your average guest check for each meal. So what could you have done to increase it to $29? You are really good with guests I know that and I know you tried your best, so maybe you could have focussed a little more on increasing revenues rather than just offering great service?

#2. FeedForward: This is a relatively new way to offer constructive feedback. Instead of telling someone how they performed in the past month, you focus only on the next month. You don’t look back, you look forward. When focusing on the future and showing the employee how they can do better, the employee might be in a less defensive state of mind, and with your help, can visualize themself performing the task better and achieving their target.

E.g., John, your Average Guest Check target for the upcoming month is $29. This month, you should focus on increasing revenues as well as offering excellent service. Remember, every time a guest sits at your table, find ways to entice them to order higher-priced menu items, don’t forget to always ask them about a glass of wine, and always sell them a dessert. You’re good at your job, and I am confident this coming month, you will achieve your target of $29.

#3. A Medley of Both: The strength in offering feedback constructively lies in your employees feeling uplifted and more confident of themselves to achieve revenue targets, thereby helping you increase revenues. After listening to many of my managers who were high-performing employees who often achieved their revenue targets and helped the company grow profitably, I learned that a mix of both feedback methods were uplifting and effective depending on the situation and the employee. 

Find your mix so long as you uplift your employee and encourage them to remain motivated.

One last thing…

I know you might find it hard or might have some fear of offering feedback to your employee; we all do at some point as leaders. Fear comes from a lack of trust in yourself and the employee to want to do better for themselves and the company.

Don’t let fear rule your decision and not offer feedback when you should. As long as your feedback helps the employee feel uplifted and more confident about themselves by being clear about what they should focus on going forward to improve their performance, you will have improved performance and increased your chances of meeting your revenue targets.

Nandu Awatramani
Growth Coach and Business Advisor to Ambitious Restaurant Owners and Groups

P.S. I invite you to join Scaling Restaurant Revenues – An invite-only Facebook group for restaurant owners and leaders. We help each other grow, increase revenues, cut costs and scale our businesses. If you want to learn new and innovative ways to increase revenues in this environment, then click here to join the private group.

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