types of feedback

Three Types Of Feedback

Generally, feedback can be given either “in the moment” or daily. According to Stone and Heen from Harvard, there are three different types of feedback based on purpose: evaluation, appreciation and coaching. Evaluation feedback needs to be done “in the moment” to help the person receiving the feedback know where they stand. Appreciation and coaching should be given on a daily basis to help inspire and motivate the person to continue doing their best and improving their selves.

 What is Evaluation Feedback?

The primary purpose of an evaluation feedback is to let the person receiving it know where they stand when it comes to their performance. When an employee knows where they stand, they have clear expectations and they feel reassured and safe. As a result, they are more likely to receive the feedback positively and work with their leader towards improved performance and better results.

Ideally, an evaluation involves a rating or a ranking. There is often a comparison between other employees and judgement. Other times, there is a set of standards where the employee’s performance is compared with and assessed. These standards can be used by the employee to monitor their improvement and performance.

Evaluation can be given on a scheduled meeting or on a daily basis. To ensure a successful evaluation feedback, here are some tips:

  • Set clear expectations with regards to the roles and responsibilities of the employee(s) receiving feedback.
  • Be clear with your purpose in giving feedback.
  • Be accountable for the process and the results.
  • Record and monitor employees’ progress and outcomes.
  • Use real-time approach and try to give follow up evaluation within 24 hours.
  • Separate evaluation from coaching and appreciation.

What is Appreciation Feedback?

Appreciation feedback is what you give when you want to show appreciation or thank the employee for their contribution and performance. It is important to notice and acknowledge their effort to further build trust in your relationship. Encourage the employee to celebrate their success and impressive performance to motivate them to continue with their progress and growth.

A great appreciation feedback is one that is specific, linked to the receiver’s values and authentic. It needs to be specific so the employee knows what exactly he or she did that caused the appreciation feedback. This helps the employee identify what else he or she needs to improve on what he or she needs to keep doing.

Linking the appreciation feedback to the receiver’s values makes it more effective and personal. It helps the receiver easily accept and understand the feedback and learn more about his or her role and responsibilities in the company.

Lastly, an appreciation feedback needs to be authentic each time you are giving it. It needs to be unique to the employee and to the situation. This prevents the appreciation feedback to feel like it’s a routine, which will eventually cause the employee to lose interest in striving for growth and improvement.

What is Coaching Feedback?

After informing the employee where they stand in terms of their performance and giving them appreciation for the effort they are putting in for their growth and improvement, you can move on to giving them coaching feedback.

A coaching feedback is different from evaluation and appreciation, although it can have both elements. A coaching feedback often involves regular and annual reviews. Its primary purpose is to further inspire the employee and lead them towards continued growth and improvement.

Some of the benefits of coaching feedback include:

  • Increasing employee effectiveness.
  • Preventing them from using behaviours that may hinder their growth.
  • Encouraging them to maintain effective behaviours.
  • Promoting commitment within employees and their work and the organisation.

Giving and receiving feedback help to create positive learning and growth between all employees and executive leaders. The Centre for Creative Leadership says this is one of the best ways to establish and help strengthen trust between leaders and staff. Regardless of the time and place when feedback is delivered, it should always be aimed to help improve performance, development and positive outcomes.

If you fell that your workplace could do with improved skills around feedback, then I do run a workshop called “Giving and Receiving Feedback”


Thanks for the Feedback by Douglas Stone & Sheila Heen

The Centre For Creative Leadership

Comments 2

  1. I Appreciate
    Thank you for the enlightening passage. Never before had I thought about the many ways of thanks, or the degrees in which too express that
    appreciation. Thank you.

    1. Post

      Thank you, Alvin, for taking the time to give me feedback on my blog post on the three types of feedback. Having the ability to step back from the feedback and separate the purpose of the feedback is helpful as it gives so much more clarity.

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