How often do people need feedback when frequent feedback or continuous coaching is introduced?

As organisations change their approach to performance management, the benefits of giving and receiving frequent feedback are showing in improved employee engagement, retention, profitability and (because happy staff make for happy customers) customer satisfaction.

When moving towards frequent feedback and continous coaching a common question is how often should feedback be given? There is no magic frequency, rather there is a new muscle to develop, that feedback should be exchanged whenever someone does something noteworthy, either good or bad.

Here is a list of 20 noteworthy (and therefore feedback worthy) events when you can exercise your feedback muscle.

You should consider giving feedback when someone .....

  1. Teaches you something new
  2. Is flexible to rearrange their schedule to fit in with yours
  3. Presents useful information to you
  4. Reviews your work
  5. Helps you to meet a deadline
  6. introduces you to a contact
  7. Stands in for you or steps up to help when you were stretched
  8. Works late, or comes in early
  9. Gives you some advice, or when you use advice they gave you maybe even years before
  10. Handles a difficult issue (even if that's part of their job)
  11. Improves at something – especially when it's just a little bit
  12. Takes some stress off you
  13. Supports you on something you were anxious about
  14. Shows some vulnerability to break through an issue
  15. Prevents a mistake
  16. Fails and gets back up
  17. Fails and needs to be helped back up
  18. Has the courage to ask for help
  19. Challenges the status quo to drive positive change
  20. Shares knowledge that you reuse (such as slides, diagrams, templates, stories, metaphors)


When you give feedback based on an observation, don't forget to structure it to say

a) What specifically happened

b) How it made you feel, or the impact on you

c) Any change that you would like to see, or reinforcement to keep working like that in future

d) An open invitation for conversation and discussion prior to any change


These are just a few examples of triggers that you should notice as opportunities to give feedback.

Let us know your favourites and your other suggestions in the comments.


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