Performance Feedback: Are You Doing it Wrong?

Did you miss the HR Florida conference last week (see here)? If so, no need to worry. We have conveniently summarized some of the key takeaway points from the session conducted by our scientist, Dr. Iris D. Rivera.

Feedback is information received by an individual about his or her past behavior (Annett, 1969). More specifically, feedback is about re-directing a person’s attention with the goal of changing behavior. There are two main purposes for providing feedback: to improve the employee and to improve the organization. In fact, research has shown that feedback is such a powerful tool that it impacts employees’ job motivation, satisfaction, absenteeism, and turnover (Fried & Ferris, 1987).

Did you know that…

98% of employees that are NOT engaged when managers provide little or no feedback? (Towers Watson)

43% of highly engaged employees receive feedback at least once a week (Towers Watson)

14.9% lower turnover rates for companies who implement regular feedback than for employees who receive no feedback (Gallup)

There is no question as to whether the impact of providing performance feedback reaches across the organization. The only questions is, “what is the best way of providing feedback?” Simple, just make sure it takes into account constructiveness, feedback sign, and goals.

Constructiveness refers to whether the feedback is constructive or destructive. Constructive feedback is specific and considerate. Destructive feedback is general, inconsiderate, and may be seen as harassing or threatening. It can attribute causality to factors intrinsic to the individual that they have no control over.

Feedback sign refers to whether the feedback is positive or negative. Positive feedback tells the individual that performance is acceptable while negative feedback informs the individual that performance if falling short of a standard.

Goals refers to whether the feedback addresses prior set goals. The purpose of the feedback is to let the individual know whether they have reached the intended goal or standard.

Practice providing constructive feedback (either positive or negative) that aligns with the organizational and individual goals. The result will surprise you! You will find that those around you are more motivated and engaged.

Let us know how you provide feedback in the comments below.


Annett, J. (1969). Feedback and human behaviour.

Fried, Y., & Ferris, G. R. (1987). The validity of the job characteristics model: A review and meta‐analysis. Personnel Psychology40(2), 287-322.

Photos Credit: Flickr, Creative Commons license, Giulia Forsythe





About the Author:


Cognitive Performance Group, LLC is a woman-owned small business with offices in Orlando, Florida, and Cleveland, Ohio. It was founded by Dr. Karol G. Ross, Jennifer K. Phillips, and William A. Ross. The three CPG Principals developed the concept for a company to support cognitive performance improvement in industry and government. (more...)

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