When it comes to giving feedback to an employee when they have finished or are working through a particular project, praise or criticism has little meaning if it is not qualified with the reasons as to why the feedback is good or bad.

Providing Explanations Gives Employees Better Understanding for Future Tasks

Giving criticism without explanation is worse than giving praise without explanation. If praise is given then the employee is likely to be doing things right and achieving the desired objectives, in which case they do not need putting back on the right track. It is however extremely useful as it gives more weight to the praise and shows that the manager has taken a keen interest in the performance and efforts of the employee, instead of just setting them a task and letting them get on with it. It may also be the case that whilst the overall progress of the employee has been good, there may still be one or two very minor points which need to be worked on and improved.

However, criticism given without any explanation or reasoning can be extremely damaging to both the morale of the worker and the relationship between themselves and the manager. Short criticism such as telling a worker they were ineffective or not good enough will more than likely make the person extremely defensive, whereas the provision of objective and non-judgemental critical points not only allows the employee to understand the areas in which they can improve, or provides a basis for productive discussion about future performance or the issues that the worker had which prevented them from doing a satisfactory job. In either case, this will be extremely useful when it comes to business coaching sessions and maximising the productivity of the individual.