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How to provide constructive feedback to encourage accountability in the workplace

By Darren Finkelstein
By Darren Finkelstein

The Accountability Guy®

Home » Accountability » How to provide constructive feedback to encourage accountability in the workplace

Feedbacks are a crucial step for employees to improve and grow in their roles. Often, feedback is considered negative. But that’s not the intent of any manager or leadership team to portray to their employees. Eventually, they want their team members to understand the need for improvement and how they can perform better and provide excellent results. Constructive feedback can help employees understand their strengths and weaknesses and enable them to take corrective actions to improve their performance. Accountability is also an essential part of any workplace, and managers and leaders are responsible for encouraging accountability among their team members. However, providing feedback can be challenging, especially if the input is negative. In this blog, we will discuss some tips on giving constructive feedback to encourage accountability in the workplace.

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Tips on giving constructive feedback to encourage accountability in the workplace.

1. Being specific and on time

The first step in providing constructive feedback is to be clear and timely. This action means you should give feedback as soon as possible after the incident. This way, the employee can remember the situation and take corrective action immediately. Being specific means focusing on the behaviour and not the person. For example, instead of saying, “You are lazy,” say, “I noticed that you have missed the deadline twice this week.

2. Be empathetic

When providing feedback, it’s essential to be compassionate. Put yourself in the employee’s shoes and understand their perspective. This behaviour helps in creating a positive and supportive environment. For example, instead of saying, “You should have done better,” say, “I understand that you had a lot on your plate. How can we work together to ensure you meet the deadline next time?

3. Provide positive feedback

It’s essential to provide positive and constructive feedback. This step helps boost the employee’s morale and encourages them to continue performing well. Highlight their strengths and achievements and let them know their hard work is appreciated. For example, instead of criticizing their work, say, “I appreciate the effort you put into this project. Your attention to detail was impressive.

4. Encourage dialogue

Encourage dialogue with the employee after providing feedback. This dialogue helps them understand their perspective and allows them to ask questions and clarify doubts. Listen to their concerns and guide how they can improve. For example, ask, “What do you think you can do to improve your performance?” or “How can I support you in achieving your goals?

5. Keep it private

When providing feedback, it’s essential to do it privately. This confidentiality helps maintain the employee’s dignity and prevents them from feeling embarrassed or defensive in front of their peers. Schedule a private meeting with the employee and provide feedback calmly and respectfully. 

6. Use objective criteria

When providing feedback, it’s essential to use objective criteria to evaluate the employee’s performance. This method helps in giving feedback that is fair and consistent. Use measurable criteria such as attendance records, sales figures, or project deadlines to evaluate their performance.

7. Follow up

Follow up with the employee after providing feedback to ensure they have taken corrective action. This follow-up helps hold them accountable for their behaviour and ensures they progress toward improving their performance. Schedule a follow-up meeting to discuss their progress and provide additional guidance if needed.

8. Use active listening

Active listening involves listening to the employee’s perspectives and understanding their point of view. This listening attitude helps in building trust and creating a supportive environment. Use active listening techniques such as nodding, paraphrasing, and asking clarifying questions to ensure that you understand their perspective. 

9. Be constructive

When providing feedback, it’s essential to be productive. This behaviour means you should focus on how the employee can improve rather than just criticizing them. Provide suggestions on how they can improve their behaviour or performance. For example, instead of saying, “You need to work harder,” say, “If you prioritize your tasks, you can finish them on time.

10. Be consistent

Consistency is critical when it comes to providing feedback. Set clear expectations and standards for performance and provide feedback consistently to ensure that employees understand what is expected of them. This attitude helps in creating a culture of accountability in the workplace. 


Providing constructive feedback is an essential skill that all leaders should possess. It helps in improving the performance of the employees and encourages accountability in the workplace. By following these tips, you can provide constructive feedback that is well-received and allows employees to grow and develop professionally. Constructive feedback is not criticizing or blaming but helping employees improve and reach their full potential. As a manager or leader, you should ensure that while providing feedback, you must be able to boost the employee’s morale to improve and learn from his mistakes. As you provide feedback, you must highlight his positives before you start with areas of improvement.