Within a company, the feedback Negatives can quickly demotivate employees. To avoid this pitfall and succeed in maintaining a good relationship with the employee, there is the “sandwich” method. This type of feedback consists of placing a negative remark between two positive comments, which will facilitate the exchange between the two parties.
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Here are the advantages and disadvantages of sandwich feedback and two examples to understand how to achieve it.
What is sandwich feedback?
The sandwich feedback method consists of bring a criticism by surrounding it with compliments. The discussion begins with positive remarks, then is followed by negative criticism and finally, it ends with positive appreciations.
This type of feedback is composed in the same way as a sandwich (hence its name), namely:
- the first slice of bread represents the positive remark: it is a question of emphasizing a positive point of the interlocutor. This promotes attention and shows the person the interest in him. It is therefore conducive to listening to the rest of the conversation and to better receiving criticism.
- the inside of the sandwich corresponds to the criticism, namely the points for improvement: it is essential to express a precise, factual and constructive point of view. Do not remain too evasive to avoid misinterpretations and alter esteem. At this stage, it is also a question of submitting a solution to remedy the problem. This will allow the interlocutor to better understand what he must do.
- the second slice of bread is the compliment that closes the conversation: it is a question of encouraging and motivating the interlocutor to move forward.
Thanks to sandwich feedback, the person receiving the criticism is more receptive and is not demotivated or demoralized at the end of the discussion. This method aims to create a climate more conducive to exchanges without offending the employee.
Examples of sandwich feedback
Giving feedback is not done randomly, like any management tool, it can be learned.
Here is an example of a feedback sandwich that can be made during a presentation by a collaborator:
- “Very good job today! Your presentation was complete and thorough. However, I thought your slides could be improved to be more interactive. Next time, use the templates provided by the design team to engage the audience a little more. Anyway, great job overall! »
By breaking down this example, it appears that the first comment is positive: the content of the presentation is complete and thorough. Criticism then steps in to let the contributor know that the presentation could have been improved. Then the discussion ends by reaffirming the positive remark made beforehand.
As a second example: a new employee has just written a proposal for a client. Before sending it, he has it read over to his manager, who realizes that it is full of mistakes. He can use sandwich feedback to let him know:
- “Thank you for sending me your proposal so quickly, I really appreciate it! However, I noticed a few grammar and typos. It would be good to correct them during the day, so that we can send the proposal to the client this evening. Being responsive matters, but it’s important to make sure you don’t leave any typos. Rest assured, overall, the proposal was very clear! »
Here, the message to convey is simple and direct, the corrective measures are clearly stated between the two positive remarks. Thus, the interlocutor remains confident and motivated, despite the mistakes he has made.
Advantages and disadvantages of the sandwich method
First of all, giving or receiving criticism is never very comfortable, because no one likes to deal with it. Using the sandwich method makes it possible to attenuate the impact of this one, between two positive remarks. It is used to convey a message productively.
Then, the feedback sandwich also makes it possible tocreate a caring atmosphere, and not to remain focused on the negative or improvement axes to be reviewed. The criticized individual emerges from the conversation remaining motivated and not demoralized by what he has just heard.
Finally, passing a criticism in the middle of compliments allows a better receptivity on the part of the person criticized. She is more inclined to hear and understand the negative points, than if the critics were alone. It’s a way to stay on a positive note while wishing to convey a specific message on a specific point.
But this method is not perfect, it may have some drawbacks.
If the remarks are not precise and remain vague, sandwich feedback can make the message unclear for the interlocutor. This one can feel lost in the face of the mix of positive and negative comments. He will then wonder if he has done a good job or not and will leave without having a good understanding of the points to improve. The employee may therefore miss the message, and not draw the desired conclusions. This is why it is important to clearly express the elements to be corrected and the solutions to achieve them.
Moreover, when it is often used within the company, this method can be easily understood by employees and thus misinterpreted. Individuals may feel that feedback compliments are not honest and are present only as a simple introduction to the review.
To go further, download this guide to project management and use it to optimize your project management, thanks to the appropriate method and the right tools.