How Should Negative Feedback Be Handled In Performance Reviews?

Handling Negative Feedback in Performance Reviews

Brief Overview:

Negative feedback in performance reviews should be handled carefully and constructively to ensure it leads to growth and improvement. Here are five key points to consider:

  1. Provide specific examples of the behavior or performance that needs improvement.
  2. Focus on the impact of the behavior or performance on the individual’s work and the team.
  3. Offer suggestions for improvement and provide support for achieving those goals.
  4. Encourage open communication and feedback from the employee to address any concerns or misunderstandings.
  5. Follow up on the feedback given to track progress and provide ongoing support.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. How should negative feedback be delivered in a performance review?

Negative feedback should be delivered in a private setting, with specific examples and a focus on behavior or performance rather than personal characteristics.

2. How can negative feedback be framed in a constructive way?

Negative feedback should be framed as an opportunity for growth and improvement, with clear suggestions for how the individual can address the issues raised.

3. How should managers handle emotional reactions to negative feedback?

Managers should acknowledge and validate the individual’s emotions, while also redirecting the conversation back to the specific feedback and goals for improvement.

4. What should be done if an employee becomes defensive or denies the feedback?

Managers should encourage open dialogue and seek to understand the employee’s perspective, while also reiterating the importance of addressing the issues raised for the individual’s growth and development.

5. How can negative feedback be used to motivate employees?

Negative feedback can be used to motivate employees by highlighting the potential for growth and improvement, setting clear goals for development, and providing support and resources to help the individual succeed.

6. How should managers follow up on negative feedback given in a performance review?

Managers should schedule regular check-ins with the employee to track progress, provide ongoing support, and address any new challenges or concerns that arise.

7. What are some best practices for handling negative feedback in performance reviews?

Some best practices include being specific and objective in the feedback given, focusing on behaviors that can be changed, offering support and resources for improvement, and maintaining open communication throughout the feedback process.


Handling negative feedback in performance reviews requires a thoughtful and constructive approach to ensure it leads to growth and improvement for the individual and the organization as a whole.

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