When to give feedback to a team member?

Manager as a coach - When to give feedback to a team member?

Plenty of research is available to indicate that delays in giving feedback can hurt a team member's performance, motivation and necessary course-correction.

Timing of feedback is extremely important if you wish to see the desired behavioural change in your team member.

Managers can use the below 2x2 matrix in effectively timing their feedback:

  1. Small and Positive feedback should be given instantly as soon as the underlying event happens
  2. Small but Negative feedback should be timed in such a way that an employee is a receptive mood and can act on such feedback. For example, giving negative feedback just when a team member is busy with a big dead line is not helpful and may force the person receiving to be defensive.
  3. Big and Positive feedback should be delivered in the 1:1 meeting and the impact can be amplified if the feedback comes as a surprise that is it is not part of the agenda.
  4. Big and Negative feedback should be part of the agenda for the 1:1 meeting. This will help reduce the anxiety for the team member and he or she can be mentally prepared for receiving such feedback.
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