Feedback is a central component of the manager-employee relationship. You can find a variety of assessment methods, feedback, and interaction between management and employees. Giving employees effective feedback is a crucial component of any manager’s job.  Often, managers are reluctant resent give corrective (or negative) feedback. They assume employee defensiveness and fear that negative feedback will offend the employee and thus affect their rapport with the employee.

The sandwich feedback technique is a popular three-step procedure to help managers who are ill at ease with providing corrective feedback, in other words, it involves discussing corrective feedback that is “sandwiched” between two layers of praise.

The term “sandwich method” comes from the fact that the negative feedback, in this instance the cheese and the ham, is packed between words of praise, which are the slices of bread. The aim of this method is to create a pleasant atmosphere for discussion and to relax the severity of the negative criticism. The person criticized in this way should become more receptive and ultimately leave the conversation with a good feeling.

Let’s arrange this feedback approach in a burger:

The top slice of toast: The initial positive note, telling your colleague that the presentation was insightful and there were great instances in it.

Meat: Kind and constructive critical remark, giving a clarification that is more individualized and captivating.

The bottom piece of toast: A final word confirming the positive message that your colleague has done an excellent job.

The purported benefits of this technique are twofold: (1) it softens the impact of the criticism or corrective feedback, and, (2) given that a manager is probably more comfortable with praising the employee, the manager finds it easier to discuss problems with the employee’s behavior if this discussion begins and ends with praising the employee.

The sandwich feedback technique enables a manager to restructure feedback so it is easier to deliver. The technique also reinforces good behavior and asks for improvements.

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