Culturedation: The Sandwich Approach in giving feedback for your Company Culture

Giving feedback effectively is essential in helping others' areas of improvement, all part of nurturing a positive company culture.

Oftentimes, the effectiveness of the feedback is dependent not just on the area of improvement highlighted, but the way you deliver the feedback as well.

Hence, it is important to use good feedback technique when delivering it to achieve the best outcome possible for the recipient.

The Sandwich Approach for your feedback

A commonly used feedback technique you can consider and apply is the Sandwich Approach.

How does the Sandwich Approach work?

In short, you 'sandwich' your shared area of improvement between 2 positives when giving your feedback as a whole:

  • Step 1: Start off with positive remark
  • Step 2: Share area of improvement
  • Step 3: Summarise on positive note

This is done to provide feedback with a holistic overview, incorporating both the positive and negative elements alongside efforts to maintain the recipient's morale by softening the impact of the negative point highlighted.

Example of applying the Sandwich Approach in your feedback

E.g. Giving feedback on a team member's proposal for a client:

Step 1: Start off with positive remark

"Great proposal. I like how you highlighted the client's pain points."

Step 2: Share area of improvement

"However, your proposal section on our products focuses too much on its technical features. As the client may not be too familiar with our products yet, it may confuse them. Recommend you instead focus more on how the client can benefit when using our products to solve their pain points."

Step 3: Summarise on positive note

"Overall, you are doing a very good job so far with the client. I can see you have put in a lot of effort. Keep it up."

Shortcoming of Sandwich Approach?

However, be wary when applying the Sandwich Approach to your feedback as well.

It can be argued that the blending of both positive and negative points can potentially make the feedback confusing or even insincere as a whole, as some may include incoherent positive points just for the sake of 'sandwiching' the negative point.

Hence, if you were to apply the Sandwich Approach, remember to practice clarity and coherence with your points when forming and delivering your feedback 'sandwich'.

Concluding remarks

Done properly, the Sandwich Approach can help you give feedback effectively to others for their areas of improvement and achieve the best outcome.

A positive company culture is nurtured by being constructive, not destructive. And giving feedback effectively helps you be constructive when doing so.


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