Constructive Criticism: 8 Ways to Handle it at workplace

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Constructive Criticism
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Providing feedback to every employee is essential. It enhances employee skill and performance and prevents backfiring. But often, managers face unexpected situations, like their employees often misunderstanding them during the feedback. Or their recommendation gets ignored often by their co-workers, etc. In resolving the issues, it is essential to follow constructive criticism. It shows some constructive approaches followed by employees.


This article discusses constructive criticism, the importance of constructive criticism, and the vital steps to deploy constructive criticism to employees at the workplace with tips and examples.


What is Constructive criticism?

Constructive criticism is a process that offers actionable feedback which delivers a specific and compelling recommendation to the recipient. It offers valuable suggestions and creates a vibrant work environment that eradicates toxicity.


With this, employees feel confident about their tasks and can even ask any questions, seek assistance and elaborate ideas on the desk.


What is Destructive Criticism?

On the other hand, destructive criticism focuses employees on providing negative feedback. It harms, underestimates, and offends the recipients. Despite the criticizers ’intention, employees become demotivated to work. It may also impact the person’s reputation, lowers morale, and denigrate their creations or achievements.


Difference between Constructive criticism and Destructive Criticism

Constructive criticism and destructive criticism are two distinct feedback approaches based on employees’ work, behaviour, or ideas. Both focus on the flaws or areas for improvement, they differ significantly in their intentions, delivery, and potential impact.


➔ Intention

The main objective of constructive criticism is practicing feedback that helps the employee improve and grow.


It aims to offer updated insights, suggestions, or alternatives for enhancing employee performance and company productivity.


Destructive criticism aims to target or belittle or undermine the person receiving the feedback.


The primary purpose may be to express disapproval, assert superiority, or hurt the individual emotionally.


➔ Focus

Constructive criticism focuses on specific behaviours, actions, or aspects of the work rather than attacking the person’s character or worth.


Destructive criticism often attacks personally the person’s character, and abilities, rather than focusing on the process of improvement.


➔ Delivery

Constructive Criticism is typically delivered in a respectful, considerate, and empathetic manner. The emphasis is on being supportive and encouraging while highlighting areas that need attention or development.


Whereas, In the case of destructive Criticism is typically delivered in a harsh, disrespectful, or derogatory manner, lacking empathy and consideration for the recipient’s feelings.


➔ Impact

Constructive criticism tends to have a positive impact on the recipient by fostering learning, personal growth, and professional development.


It can contribute to building trust, enhancing relationships, and improving overall performance.


Whereas Destructive criticism can have detrimental effects on the individual’s self-esteem, motivation, and confidence.


Also Read:

Constructive or Destructive Criticism! Which is suitable to practice?

Constructive criticism is something positive that not only develops employee engagement at the workplace but also has the intention of facilitating improvement and improving company growth. Destructive criticism is something disrespectful. There is minimum no intention of promoting growth or improvement at the workplace.


Often some scenarios create due to some failure to embed a positive culture that encourages open communication, collaboration, and growth.


Examples of Constructive Criticism in the Company

Here, we focus on some quick scenarios of why we need Constructive Feedback at our workplace.


➔ Criticism against meeting the deadline

Employees often can’t meet the deadline, or they attend mistakes several times. It hampers the company’s productivity. Constructive criticism helps employees to achieve the target and meet the deadline. The person can communicate and discuss their problems with their managers.


➔ Criticism against low productivity

Productivity drops due to work inconsistency, poor team communication, misunderstanding of tasks, inadequate technologies, etc. Often employees’ life changes or disengagement affect productivity. Constructive Criticism help to address the root cause of employees’ poor performance.


➔ Criticism against communication skills

Communication becomes difficult when employees think twice before asking questions, discussing problems, raising queries, etc. Arranging constructive criticism, like organizing team or individual meetings, setting clear expectations, and encouraging vital communication, helps employees perform well.


➔ Criticism against lateness and absence

Often Employees come office late or take leaves frequently. It tends to their a bad habit. Constructive criticism assists you in concentrating on the impact of tardiness or absences on an employee’s attendance and performance and working on it.


➔ Criticism against issues with collaboration

Often employees avoid team collaboration. They hesitate to talk with others which leads to low productivity. It may happen due to low confidence or poor knowledge or communication skill. With your feedback, one can address this concern effectively.


Organizations can take steps to manage them to collaborate with the team and share those skills with other team members.


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How do you practice Constructive Criticism in the workplace?

The word ‘Criticism’ seems negative. Though Constructive Criticism is a valuable practice that allows the person to upgrade skills, enhance confidence, clarify expectations, build transparency, and boost confidence.


Here is just a streamlined method you can follow when you are planning to implement Constructive Feedback at your workplace:


1. Improvise new insight and perspective

Criticizing people is ruthless, and it harms people’s morale. But it solely depends on your statement and emotion and how you react to the person. So, It is an opportunity to change your perspective, find the silver lining, open your eyes to things, and find new strategies to cope with employees’ emotions and productivity. It is your moment to learn and grow your character.


2. Long-lasting professional bonds

Solid employee-employer bonding is a crucial element for future growth and business productivity. Handling Criticism and providing honest feedback is a bit challenging as it shows your gratitude.


Focus on the situation; It is essential to remember that when you criticize the person, that person will invest it in the future. Constructive Feedback should have the best intention.


3. Keeping transparency in Criticism

It is essential to practice Criticism with transparency. It naturally promotes a culture of honesty and proactiveness when it is constantly practiced. The clarity in feedback motivates employees to trust criticism. It leads to productivity. When transparency becomes a core organizational priority, it triggers feedback as well.


4. Appreciate the person

Appreciate your employee performance, then criticize their mistakes with a helpful attitude. Maintaining a smooth yet dignified voice makes your message much more effective. You can consider the work we do at the time of the feedback.


Moreover, One more thing that works effectively is trusting your employee and appreciating their work or congratulating them for their excellence and hard work.


5. Choose an appropriate time.

Often, we question ourselves about what time is appropriate for providing constructive criticism. It usually depends on employees and the task dedicated to them.


But in general, the best time for delivering your feedback is just after the moment appears. It is because the longer you wait, it affects your mind and the employees’ action. If you are tempered for any lousy performance, it is better to take some time, calm down first, and start the feedback.


It is essential to arrange a one-to-one feedback session and knock the person with prior notice of the meeting. They also get some time for self-preparation.


6. Appropriate place for the feedback

It is effective to criticize your employees privately instead of in a group setting. It would prevent the feeling of ego clashes. There are chances of the person positively taking criticism.


Criticizing employees in public places leads to negativity. As it may result in destructive criticism.


7. Understand the other person’s viewpoint

When you plan to give constructive feedback, you need a plan on how to give feedback first. You require to understand the other person’s persona. Try to find out their perspective and their opinion about the given task. Give scope to employees to express their views.


You can think about whether the delivered feedback offered to you would be acceptable or not. Proceed only if you accept the criticism.


8. Using the Sandwich method

During meetings, criticize your employee in between praising times. Usually, you can break your feedback into three segments.


  • Praise your employee; Start by appreciating their excellence.
  • Criticize them through what task they need to improvise. The criticizer can suggest some techniques.
  • Last, you can end up on a positive note.


Like putting a patty between two buns, you discuss the criticism in detail in between praising employees. This method is called the Sandwich method. This method sends some hope, trust, and confidence among employees and enhances teamwork.


Though it is pretty tough delivering sharp constructive criticism as the person receives feedback consisting of positive and negative comments. But some leaders tackle it smoothly as well.


Suppose you are hassled about choosing the method to implement constructive criticism. It is one of the best tips to implement as it doesn’t hamper employee turnover.


Also Read:

6 Tips on how to give Constructive Criticism are as follows

Anybody can attend the constructive criticism, but they often get messed up with the continued changing of employee behaviour, company culture, etc. They must focus on some strategies to follow the right approach to constructive criticism in the right way.


Moreover, If one has never attended constructive criticism before, try these 5 key points dos and don’ts to keep your feedback helpful, constructive, and friendly.


1. When receiving the feedback, you must not burst into anger

It is important not to burst into anger when delivering criticism or receiving it. It will help you to know the other person’s view.


2. Try to be a good listener and then a good speaker-

If you listen first, you get the points from the employee side. Then identify the primary point and improvise it based on those points.


3. Understand the recipients’ views and perceptions-

Why does employee performance getting low? Is it for the colossal workload or some reason from the employee side? Understand the recipient’s view first and prepare strategically to solve them.


4. Maintain a calm and understandable demeanor

Maintaining calmness is challenging when you deliver and receive criticism. It may be constructive or destructive. All you need to do is accept criticism and remain calm. It is one of the best ways to future success.


5. Appreciate their efforts and listen to your Criticism.

Listen to your criticism first. You can understand the feedback that they expect from you. So that you quickly focus on the points that they are talking about.


6. Offer actionable suggestions

Instead of merely pointing out the problem, provide specific suggestions or recommendations for improvement. Help the person understand what they can do differently or what skills they can develop to address the issue.


5 tips to avoid while receiving Constructive Criticism

Employees enjoy constructive feedback, yet often, they get frustrated with some negative ones. But if one receives Constructive Feedback, don’t throw it away.


You can face these reactions while facing the feedback and dealing with this is priceless.


  1. Handle your anger at the time of the feedback.
  2. Do not interrupt or talk over the criticizer during feedback
  3. Listen till the end, then analyze the criticizers’ assessment
  4. Avoid engaging in a debate on the feedback
  5. Remember, it’s not easy to deal with feedback.


Constructive Feedback has equipped you with positive feedback to feel more enthusiastic about your ability to do this well.


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Coming at the End

Constructive Feedback is the only positive way where we understand our loop and learn about rectification, getting scopes to improve our performance. We often become defensive instead of accepting our fault and miss out the vital insight.


But it’s not easy to give or receive feedback even if people take resentment at the time of giving feedback. Yet it delivers proficient results in productivity if you take this seriously. We are sure that this article will help you in all ways and make you feel more positive about your proficiency to do this well.


If you’re looking for more assistance, get in touch to see how we can help you find your voice and manage your responses to constructive feedback.


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