… the HR Minion. Because even minions have opinions. And giggles.

Honest Feedback


Hey you, yes you random Manager person who somehow manged to stumble across this blog in what I can only assume was a failed attempt to locate funny cat videos. Now that I have you here and before you can quick click away, I’m going to let you in on a secret.

That’s right, come a little closer…

Your employees don’t want to be told they are perfect.

What? You heard me.

Your best employees want actual, honest feedback. They know they make mistakes. They know there are things they could stand to improve upon. And more importantly, they want to get better. Now, you may think you are doing your employees a favor by only saying nice things about their performance, whenever you actually bother to give them feedback at all, but you aren’t. You may even think you are rewarding them for their consistent hard work or putting them in a better position for a raise by only focusing on positives. You think that makes you a great manager.

But you would be wrong.

By not providing any constructive feedback on your employees performance you don’t make them better, you encourage mediocrity. Perfection is stagnation. When you refrain from honest, constructive feedback what you are basically telling your employees is that they have gone as far as they can go in their role. There is nothing left for them to learn, nothing left to achieve, and no more challenges to overcome. In fact, they might as well start looking for something new now because they’ve peaked where they are at.

People need to fail. They need to make mistakes and be told about them. True growth and development does not come from how many times we succeed but by how many times we fail. Failure is a learning experience. If your employees are truly not making any mistakes then you aren’t challenging them enough. If they are making mistakes that you are covering up or letting slide, then you are stunting their development as professionals and hurting your company as well.

Providing constructive feedback is hard. It’s uncomfortable. I get that. But the absence of constructive feedback is not the solution. Instead of making your employees feel valued, you are going to make them feel like moving on.

Keep that in mind the next time you have to evaluate your employees and tempted to avoid reality.

4 Responses | Add your Own

  • 1 Chris aka new_resource :

    Hey this is true and real. I know folks who are top performers and they get bored and what challenges, they want constructive feedback. They look for jobs with teams that challenge them to be even better.
    No matter how good you are, you want to hear feedback.

  • 2 Shauna :

    Chris – I know I would rather hear about what i did wrong then keep being wrong. Thanks!

  • 3 Another Evil HR Director :

    I think the most salient point you make is about encouraging mediocrity. I wholeheartedly agree! This is probably my most repeated advice I give to my supervisors and managers. Sadly, it’s one I really do have to repeat, over and over again.

  • 4 Shauna :

    Another Evil HR Director – Thanks! The problem with mediocrity is that it’s easy, a lot easier than providing honest feedback. But it’s so important!