Feedback Sandwich

The sandwich feedback technique is a popular technique which has three-steps. It is a useful techniques for the managers who find it difficult to give feedback.

  1. The top layer The feedback session should begin with a compliment i.e. a positive note.
  2. The middle layer– lettuce represents transition,The middle layer – stuffing represents the actual feedback. This layer is to review the situation or to review the actuals against the standard goals.
  3. And the bottom layer represents closing : This layer consists of the motivation.

The Top Layer

  • The top layer of compliment will break the ice.
  • Do not to exaggerate or overdo by using too many big adjectives like “wonderful ” or “extraordinary.”
  • Make sure the compliment is genuine.
  • Commenting on performance, with figures show you are sincere and appreciate their efforts.
  • Try to be specific, telling someone “I appreciate your behaviour,” might be too vague.

The Middle Layer

  • This layer offers constructive criticism.
  • It has to be short, and clear.
  • Don’t make him leave your office confused or exhausted.
  • Try to limit of points of criticism.If there are more, take them in future meetings , once they have worked on the critical one.
  • Always encourage the person receiving the person to speak. Do not make it a monologue.
  • Actively involve him in the process of solving the issue at hand. This improves their problem solving skills and critical thinking.
  • Active participation of the person indicates ownership of the person.
  • Be calm and don’t be judgmental.
  • Allow them to share their side of story.
  • Look for agreeable course of action.

The bottom Layer

  • Motivate the person before he leaves your people. Reinstate the initial compliment.
  • Thank them for their participation and professionalism.
  • Appreciate their professionalism and work ethic (if they are good).
  • Let them know, you trust them


Your sales figures are quite impressive . You have met your goals for this quarter . I must say I’m impressed and glad you have busted your targets by 110%.

But I’ve noticed your data suggests that it is one product that contributes the most of sales. I am not sure if you are doing the proper need analysis before suggesting a product to your customer. This will give you additional business. What do you think?

  I am sure that your performance will touch skies in the next quarter.and I’ve always known you as a true professional, and honestly our conversation today just confirmed it for me.

Benefits of Sandwich Technique

  • It is easier to discuss behaviour related issues, if this discussion begins and ends with praising the employee.
  • Giving feedback is not an easy task and managers are fearful about giving feedbacks . The technique it makes it easy for the managers, to give the corrective feedbacks.
  • The reaction of the person taking feedback is contained because of the technique.
  • It softens the impact of the criticism or corrective feedback.
  • Everyone likes being praised and compliments. The individual receiving feedback comes into listening mode, because the session starts on a positive note.

Drawbacks of Sandwich Technique

  • Managers can be taken granted. It undermines their authority.
  • Including positives may undermine the criticism involved, thus rendering that criticism ineffective
  • It does not work in all situations.
  • It does not work with everyone especially with vintage employees.
  •  If someone is really screwed up, you cannot use the Feedback sandwich.
  • Sometimes people feel it is time consuming.
  • They may distrust praise, as they will begin to anticipate the criticism.
  • It may give them a diluted or inaccurate understanding of their performance.

No feedback technique works if the work relationship is not great. There needs to be a sense of mutual trust, and respect.

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