Feedback— whether positive, negative or otherwise – is crucial. It can have huge effects on workplace productivity, performance and morale.

No one is perfect, and giving regular and articulate feedback can work wonders. Regardless of whether your feedback is complimentary or constructively critical, there’s a right way to do everything! To this end, we have assembled this short list of ways to give effective and impactful feedback to employees. The result will be more cooperation, open communication lines, and ultimately a visibly improved quality of work!

1) Be Precise

In giving effective feedback, being specific is key. Instead of discussing general issues, use concrete examples of certain situations or tasks that illustrate your point well.

In honest yet polite terms, make sure the recipient of feedback understands the details of the situation, including what they have done right or wrong. If there is a problem, the suggested solution should be just as specific.

Bolster your feedback with facts, figures, dates or deadlines for it to really hit home! This way, your colleague will know exactly how to proceed. Keep it light, too—

2) Take a Proactive and Positive Approach

Feedback shouldn’t be about reprimanding or making a colleague feel bad. Tread lightly and choose your words carefully, as feedback can be a sensitive topic. Feedback should be seen as an opportunity to make an employee’s good work even better or to get their not-so-good work up to par. Everyone makes mistakes, but people have to know they are making them!

Use phrases like “in the future” or “next time”, and keep things upbeat and optimistic. This is just as much about suggesting solutions as it is bringing up problems!

3) Deal with Issues as They Take Place

If something has happened that prompts feedback, don’t wait for a quarterly review. Broach the topic in a timely manner, while it’s still fresh. That way, any problem can be fixed swiftly—as it happens.

Waiting to offer feedback can only result in recurring problems, and by a certain point, the issues might be forgotten altogether. There’s no time like the present to offer insight and advice.

4) Evaluate the Performance, Not the Personality

It can be difficult to separate professional duties from personal qualities, but it is very important to do so.

Instead of calling a colleague’s character into question, or expressing concerns about a certain personality trait or tendency, locate specific examples of these within the worker’s responsibilities.

For instance, instead of saying “your rudeness is causing a problem”, say something like “some of us were a bit troubled by your reaction to that situation.” This way, you can effectively broach the topic professionally without taking a personal shot.

5) Make Yourself Open to Receiving Feedback Too

Getting feedback is just as important as giving it. Make sure you make yourself open and receptive to all forms of feedback and acknowledge both the highs and lows.

Have one-on-ones frequently, and encourage an open and outspoken communication culture. Your colleagues will feel much better and more conscious of the contributions they are making.

Dispense feedback correctly, and your colleagues will feel a little more competent and valued all the time!