Are we all familiar with the Sandwich Feedback Technique in which a good bit of feedback is given (praise), then constructive feedback (criticism), then another good bit to round out the burger…er, sandwich?
Can we all make a promise that we’ll never use this technique again? Puhlease!!
- It’s confusing. Are you telling your direct report that they are doing well or telling them they need to change something?
- If you sandwich once I’m willing to bet you sandwich a lot and your direct reports know it. This dilutes every compliment you ever give because employees know that the next words out of your mouth will be criticism.
- Truly, this technique waters down the positive feedback you give to your employees.
- Managing is about being able to be honest and up front with your direct reports. Try this, “Hey Bill, stop doing this shit because it’s costing us a lot of money. Okay, thanks.” Actually, scratch that but seriously, being honest just works better and if done a bit more tactfully then my example your employees will appreciate it.
If you struggle with giving critical feedback ask for help from other managers, get a coach, practice in the mirror beforehand. There are techniques you can use to allow you to give straightforward and honest feedback that will help your employees grow. Believe me, they don’t want to be confused either so just come out and say what the problem is. Then offer to help them with the solution.
Save the bread for a time when the only thing you’re giving out is a compliment without the butt.
…see what I did there? Was that little butt pun good or terrible. Let me know – openly and honestly.
Marisa is a leadership coach, management trainer, and motivational speaker on all things Culture and Engagement. She has helped lead the culture and engagement initiatives at two nationally recognized great places to work; Rackspace as Culture Maven and Modea as Talent Manger. Today Marisa consults, coaches, and leads seminars for organizations looking to increase productivity by focusing on management training and employee engagement.