Why not to use the sandwich technique when giving feedback to your employees

Giving feedback is an important part of any managerial role. The standard technique used by managers is the sandwich technique.  But is this way always appropriate? What negative effects does it have and when not to use it?

The sandwich technique means starting with praise, then criticizing, and returning to praise at the end.

However, sometimes it has negative side effects and our feedback does not have the desired results.

The main problem is that employees remember only a part of the feedback. They either consider the positive part to be a veil of the negative one, which makes the positive part ineffective, or vice versa, they remember only the positive part and do not change their behavior.

Consequently, it is often better to state only the part that is crucial at the moment. It will have the biggest impact. Some example situations include expressing criticism, aiming to change employee’s behavior, giving supportive feedback, especially when giving immediate feedback. When you want to express criticism and change employee’s behavior, there is no point in using a positive sandwich.

I still use the sandwich technique, but I am aware of its side effects. So when finishing a meeting with an employee, I repeat what I have said and verify understanding of all parts. I use the sandwich technique during regular evaluation interviews,  trainings or when giving feedback to candidates during the internal hiring process.



Author of "The Happy Manager: How to Make Your Team Happy and Increase Productivity" | Manager in Empire Know-How Institute| Interpreneur | World Traveller

1 Comment

  1. rxoc

    July 25, 2018 - 12:33 pm

    Nice article, i like it!

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