How to give and receive feedback in a remote team

How do you get started with giving and receiving feedback remotely? We're sharing top tips and advice to help you get started.

17th Apr 2024

Feedback is a must have for any successful team, but it becomes even more important in a remote work setting. In a virtual workspace, where face-to-face chats are replaced by screens and keyboards, the way you give and receive feedback is crucial.  Whether you're giving or receiving it, nailing remote feedback is needed for a supportive and thriving work environment.

In this blog, we're going to cover the world of remote feedback. We'll explore some top tips for both giving and receiving feedback in a virtual team setting.

Keep reading to find out :

  • Why feedback matters in a remote team
  • When and why to ask for feedback
  • How to give and receive feedback in a remote team
  • Positive and negative feedback examples
  • Best practices for receiving feedback in a remote team
  • 10 feedback questions to help you get started

Why feedback matters in a remote team

In a remote work setting, feedback becomes even more critical for several reasons:

1. Lack of face-to-face Interaction 

Without regular in-person interactions, remote team members may feel disconnected or unsure of their performance and impact. Regular feedback helps bridge this gap and gives you the chance to check everyone is aligned and on track.

2. Increased autonomy 

Remote work often comes with a higher degree of autonomy and self-direction. Feedback helps remote team members stay accountable, course-correct when needed, and feel supported in their work. It’s easy to get carried away on your list of priorities, sometimes it's good to pause and reflect on the work you’re doing. 

4. Professional Development 

Regular feedback is so important for the growth and development of your team. By giving constructive feedback and guidance, managers can help their team develop new skills, overcome challenges, and reach their full potential. It gives people specific areas to work on so they can go away and have a more action-oriented plan.

Why and when do you ask for feedback?

In most organisations, feedback is part of your performance review process. This could happen once, twice, or several times a year. However, this doesn’t have to be the only time you ask for feedback. You may want feedback on a specific project or wish to receive regular feedback from a particular team or colleague who you work closely with. Whatever you decide, make sure that you’re clear about why you are asking for feedback. Do you want general feedback about your overall performance, or are you looking to find out more about how well you performed on a particular project or task? Be as specific as possible so you can get most value from the feedback.

5 ways to give feedback in a remote team

1. Be timely 

If your feedback is related to a specific situation try to give feedback as soon as possible after the event or behaviour occurs. This makes the feedback more  relevant and actionable, and that the team member can make any necessary adjustments or improvements promptly.

2. Be specific 

Avoid vague or general statements, and instead provide specific examples and observations. This helps the person receiving the feedback understand exactly what they did well or where they need to improve, and makes the feedback more actionable and meaningful. 

3. Balance positive and constructive feedback 

Aim to provide a mix of positive feedback and constructive criticism. Start by acknowledging what the team member did well, then provide specific suggestions for improvement or growth. This helps create a balanced and supportive feedback culture. It can be hard to give constructive feedback but just think about how it will help the person. If you think they may react negatively, take some extra time to think about how you position it. 

4. Ask how they would like to receive feedback

Everyone is different. Some people prefer to read the feedback so they can take the time to digest what you have shared, whereas others may prefer a video call. It may also be a mix of both. There is no right or wrong way to do this, as long as you are both comfortable with the process.

5. Follow up

After giving feedback, make sure to follow up with the team member to see how they're implementing the feedback and whether they need any additional support or resources. This helps ensure that the feedback is being acted upon and that the team member feels supported in their growth and development.

Positive and negative feedback examples

When it comes to writing feedback, it can be hard to articulate what you’re trying to get across, and there is always a worry of being too harsh or not detailed enough. Here are some examples to help you get started.

👍 Positive feedback examples

"I really appreciated the way you took initiative on that project and went above and beyond to deliver high quality work. Your attention to detail and creative problem solving skills were evident throughout, and the client was thrilled with the results. Keep up the great work!"

*"I've noticed how consistently you've been meeting your deadlines and how proactive you've been in communicating with the team. Your reliability and strong communication skills are a huge asset to the team, and I want to thank you for your dedication and hard work."

 🚧 Constructive feedback examples

"I noticed that you struggled to meet the deadline on the last project, and that some of the work had errors or inconsistencies. I know you're capable of producing highquality work, so I wanted to check in and see how I can support you. Shall we schedule a call to discuss some things that can help?."

"I've observed that you tend to dominate conversations in team meetings and sometimes interrupt others when they're speaking. While I appreciate your enthusiasm and ideas, it's important that we create space for everyone to contribute and feel heard. It’s something I’ve experienced in the past and I’m happy to share some thoughts on how this was better managed."

Best practices for receiving feedback in a remote team

1. Assume its coming from a good place 

Remember that feedback, even constructive criticism, is typically given with the intention of helping you grow and improve. Approach feedback conversations with an open and curious mindset, and assume that your manager or colleague has your best interests in mind.

2. Listen actively

When receiving feedback, give the other person your full attention and avoid interrupting or getting defensive. Take notes if needed, and ask clarifying questions to ensure you fully understand the feedback being provided.

3. Reflect and clarify

After receiving feedback, take some time to reflect on what was said and how you can apply it to your work and professional development. If anything is unclear or you need additional guidance, follow up with the person who provided the feedback to clarify and discuss next steps. You don’t want to be left feeling confused about why certain feedback was given. It’s always best to get clarity if you’re unsure. 

4. Create an action plan

Based on the feedback you've received, create a specific action plan for implementing the suggestions and tracking your progress. Share this plan with your manager or the person who gave you the feedback, and schedule regular check-ins to discuss your progress and any challenges or successes along the way.

5. Be thankful 

Providing feedback takes time, effort, and care. Be sure to express gratitude to the person who gave you the feedback, and let them know that you value their input and support in your professional growth and development.

10 feedback questions for your team

Struggling to think of that first question or what to ask, here are some questions to help you get the most out of asking for feedback. 

  1. What do you think are my strengths in this role?
  2. Where do you think I could improve?
  3. Are there any specific tasks or projects where you feel I performed well?
  4. Are there areas where you think I could use more support or training?
  5. How would you describe my communication style?
  6. Do you feel that I contribute effectively to team collaboration and dynamics?
  7. Are there any recent accomplishments of mine that stood out to you?
  8. Do you have any suggestions for how I can better support our team's goals?
  9. Is there anything you would like to see me do differently in my role?
  10. Overall, how would you rate my performance and impact within the team?

Remember, all feedback will help you! 

In a remote work setting, feedback is more than just a nice-to-have - it's a must have. By mastering the art of giving and receiving feedback in a remote team, you can create a culture of growth, transparency, and continuous improvement.

Think of it as an opportunity to learn, grow, and become the best version of yourself and your team. So embrace the feedback process with open arms, and watch your remote team thrive!