Guide to providing effective individual feedback

1. Prepare - think about the individual beforehand. What specific work have you seen them do beyond just the last few weeks? What do you value in them as a co-worker? Where do you think are their biggest opportunities to improve?

2. Speak from your own experience - avoid 'I've heard...' statements

3. Be specific - provide examples wherever possible and avoid general statements like 'really good’ or ‘difficult to work with’

4. Keep it actionable - always describe behaviors, not traits. Focus on what the person can actually do something about going forward (i.e. more of, less of, keep doing - “It would be good to see more of X as it leads to Y”).

5. Be respectful AND honest - development feedback can at times be challenging to give. Keep in mind the purpose of the survey is for development and not to judge or evaluate performance.

SBI Model

A simple framework you can use along with these tips is the SBI model, which improves feedback by providing clarity on the situation being mentioned, the behavior the individual demonstrated, and the impact they had:

The SBI model helps individuals deliver clear, specific feedback to better inspire action. 

Situation Describe the situation. be specific about when and where it occurred.
Behavior Describe the observable behavior. Don't assume you know what the other person was thinking. 
Impact Describe what you thought or felt in reaction to the behavior.

SBI in action

"At the client meeting on Monday afternoon, you ensured that the meeting started on time and that everyone had handouts in advance. All of your research was correct and each of the client's questions were answered. I'm proud that you did such an excellent job and put the organization in a good light. I feel confident that we'll get the account, thanks to your hard work."

In working on a few projects together, including the recent TPS reports, you asked me to review and provide feedback the day before the deadline. As a result, I had to work over the weekend to support you. *If you could loop me in sooner I could provide higher quality feedback and be less stressed.*"

*Optional recommendation for action to take to improve next time. 


Amplify performance through employee development

Empower managers and employees to have productive conversations and define clear, motivating growth plans. Plus, gain valuable L&D data to demonstrate positive impact.

"With Develop, managers don't have to come to the table with all the answers – they come to the table open to having a conversation."

M 1 - Develop Customer LIZ FRANCIS
HR Operations Manager, M1

Learn more about Develop

Was this article helpful?
343 out of 368 found this helpful
Have more questions? Submit a request