Ten Brilliant Ideas for Your Next Company Gathering

Whether you’re the events planner for your company or you’re just a fun-loving boss, company gatherings are a great way to get everyone out of the office for some casual (but well-intentioned) fun. These events are the perfect way to help co-workers reconnect with each other after vacations and time off, but they can also help lower everyone’s stress! As a bonus, fun activities hosted by the employer can help to strengthen the company culture – an employee’s view of how the business is run and is succeeding.

There are many reasons to have several gatherings per year, so planning a few in advance might be a great way to start the year! You can always take a poll to see what everyone would be most interested in, but sometimes the greatest events will come as a surprise to your employees. We have ten ideas for you, in case you need some help brainstorming; think about the niche your business is in – this might help you narrow down the direction you want to go.

1 – Escape Rooms

You’re all locked (figuratively) in a room and can’t escape until you solve the puzzles! Look into some escape room places in your area and call ahead to see if they have a room big enough for your party size. If you are set on this as an event, you may want to break your group up into teams – random teams work best so that people can mingle!

2 – Tournaments

Any game you can think of can be made into a tournament; if your employees are strategic, pick a board game like chess or risk. You can also hold video game tournaments if your company is IT-based and the employees enjoy these kinds of games. Think outside the box and make sure to have a prize awaiting the winner!

3 – Laser Tag or Paintball

There’s honestly nothing more fun than pelting your team members with harmless lasers and paint. Teamwork will come into play here as the opposing sides must devise a strategy to beat the other half of the office. This will be a day to remember!

4 – Volunteer Work

If pelting and zapping aren’t your company’s forte, consider volunteering at a local food bank or another organization that fits your niche. For example, if you provide some software or service to municipalities, you could search for a way to serve the city your office is set up in – trash pickup, park maintenance… etc.

5 – Cook-Off or Cooking Class

How much fun would this be for the restaurant or catering staff? Get outside, pitch some tents, and light some grills; enjoy the summer weather with a day off. Nothing sparks conversation like good food! Plus, a cooking class could help boost some of your employees’ skills for the workplace. 

If your business isn’t related to food, that’s fine, too; many people wish they could cook but don’t have the time to teach themselves. This would be a unique experience for everyone, including you!

6 – Go-Kart Racing

Does your team have a need for speed? Go-kart racing can be the perfect way to let off steam from a busy week at the office while building up some healthy competition. Few people dislike driving fast, tiny cars – this should be a hit with everyone!

7 – Egg Drop Challenge

Looking for an event that will pick out natural leaders and help build cooperation within a team? This challenge will be the perfect way to learn more about your employees’ personalities and leadership potential. Divide your group up into teams of 4-6 members, and ask each team to design a protective surrounding for a raw egg. 

You can bring in any items you want, but here are some suggested items: tape, toilet paper rolls, rubber bands, tissues, and marshmallows. Set a repeatable distance that all creations will be dropped from. Whoever’s egg survives will be the winner!

8 – Sports Games

Is your team interested in sports? This can be a great way to meet casually outside of work while feeling connected as a team – ask everyone to wear something that supports the home team!

9 – Paint Classes

By now everyone’s heard of the beloved Paint Nite; it’s so much fun to see the skills (and lack thereof) of your co-workers! Plan an event like this for an evening, and enjoy painting with your employees!

10 – Shared Learning/ Skills Workshop

This is an extremely efficient way to spend time at a company gathering while keeping things low-key and casual. If your business usually requests professional clothing and attire, consider loosening the rules for the day to encourage more engagement with the workshops. You may even wish to ask some employees (who are proficient in certain areas) to hold a workshop of their own!

Regardless of what you choose to do as a gathering for your employees, keep it casual and light-hearted. Save the heavy information and obligation for team meetings and reviews! The best way to build company culture is for you to engage with your employees – if that means getting your hands into some paint or using them to toss meat on a grill, so be it! The most important thing is to show that you can have a little fun and kick back, too.

New Year’s Resolutions for the Workplace – Turn 2020 Into an Extraordinary Year for Your Career

Another year has come and gone – with it, a new decade has begun! Whether or not you feel a sense of accomplishment as you look back on the past ten years, bear in mind that the next ten years are well within your control. 

It can be intimidating to consider your resolutions for this year, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do it! The dawning of a new year is a paramount time for reflection and repurposing all of your old, hidden dreams! There’s no time like the present; even if you missed a few weeks in January, you can still create resolutions for the whole year.

Don’t know where to start? New Year’s resolutions can be as simple or as personal as you like – the key is that only you will know what you need to focus on. The bigger your goal, the more likely you’ll need to build in checkpoints and smaller tasks within the “big picture”. Take a peek at some of these common resolutions that can be used for your career.

1 – Update the Resume

2019 was likely a busy year for you; take some time to catalog all of your achievements and add any new roles you’ve been assigned to. Updating your resume at least once a year will help make applying for promotions or a new job much less difficult – and it can be nice to reflect on the previous year from a professional standpoint.

2 – Review Your Social Media Profiles

Sites like LinkedIn and any Facebook or Twitter business profiles should be kept as up to date as possible; if you find yourself struggling to keep up with these, set a resolution to check-in with them at least twice per month. Employers routinely check potential applicants’ personal and work profiles for misconduct and brand misrepresentation, so it’s best to not post anything about work that is not positive. Follow general common sense, and don’t engage when one of your friends is poking at the company you work for.

3 – Reorganize and Resolve to Stay That Way

It can be a hassle to keep the workspace clean and tidy (physically and digitally), especially in the middle of a busy week. Staying organized can help keep your head clear and ward off anxiety, so it’s the perfect way to start off the New Year! Arrive at work 15-20 minutes early to go through all of your supplies and items; toss anything irrelevant and restock any items you use often, like pens and notepads. 

To make this most effective, try spending an extra 2-5 minutes every night before you leave tidying up your desk for the next day. Much like waking up to a clean kitchen and coffee pot, arriving to work to see a clean desk will help start each day on the right foot.

4 – Improve Your Health at Work

While most New Year’s resolutions are related to health and fitness, they don’t have to be! This is a simple and effective way to put your health a little more central to your daily life – without working too hard. Try doing things like these to be a little more active at work every day:

  • Pack lunches for yourself (if you don’t normally do so) and try to keep them healthy!
  • Take the stairs rather than the elevator. If you work in a tall building, challenge yourself to take one more flight each week – see how far you can go!
  • Inquire about a standing desk at the office. Some ergonomics overseers will have some going spare that you can use unless a doctor-ordered request comes in.
  • Swap your office chair for an exercise ball. These seats can force you to have good posture and engage your back muscles all at the same time!
  • Work stretch breaks into your daily routine. Set alarms if you have to!

5 – Make a List and Work Through it

Literature can be one of the greatest ways to initiate a kick in the pants; motivational books have been a sensation for many years, and it’s not for no reason. If you’re looking to change your outlook on work, learn some new skills, or simply regain your passion for what you do, pick out a few books that you’d like to read by the end of this year. Blogs and podcasts can be a quick way to get motivational inspiration, as well – subscribe to a new blog and read any posts that interest you.

Anything you come up with will be a great starting point. As you continue through the year and accomplish your goals, think of new ones! If you’re always reaching towards goals, you’re always making progress in your daily life; the important thing is that you stick to your guns and keep taking steps forward. 

So, how about it? Are you ready to kick off the New Year with a bang?

Organizing your work year

2020 is finally here! For many, this new decade marks a new opportunity to set new intentions and resolutions. It’s a great time to refocus your energy on those dreams that you’ve had for a while and develop a concrete plan to achieve them. But, what about work? You can approach your professional life the same way you approach your personal one. Get ready to set some goals for the year!

Setting 2020 work goals

Look at the big picture

When thinking about how to approach your professional life in 2020, it’s best to start by looking at the big picture. What are those 2-3 things that would make the most impact in 2020? What would you have to do to consider this a successful year? 

Most likely, you have various responsibilities at your job. Try to group them into categories and assign a goal to each area. Do you interact with customers? How can you improve your customer relations? Maybe you’ve been eyeing a promotion… what would you have to do this year to step up your game and get that new title? 

Remember to also take into account your professional development. What skills would you like to develop this year to be better at your job? Talk about this with your manager, they might even pay for a course or a conference for you to work on your professional development. 

Break it down

After you’ve established those big goals you want to achieve, you should break them down into manageable chunks. This will make them seem a lot more attainable. For example, if you want to sell $1 million dollars this year, you can say that your goal is $250,000 per quarter (or break it up based on your sale seasons). Now, what do you have to do to sell $250,000 this quarter? Start to think of the strategies you’ll need to employ to get to those smaller goals that will add up to your bigger one. Also, remember to set yourself up for success by planning ahead. What do you need to do this quarter to prepare for the next one? 

Breaking down your big goals into digestible chunks will not only set you up for success, but also give you a blueprint on what you have to work on each quarter (or week!) to achieve them. 

Keep it visible

Goals are only as good as their execution. To make sure you keep them top of mind, have them visible on your workspace. One thing that might help is to prepare a presentation so you can write everything out and then create a worksheet that includes the big goals and the breakdown of each. Give yourself some space to check off each milestone as you achieve it and keep it visible near your desk. Another idea, if you keep a notepad to write all your to-do’s, is to use the front cover or back cover to write them down. This way you can easily consult them when needed. You can also post them as your computer desktop background image or screen saver. Using a productivity planner is also a good strategy to keep your goals in mind, many of them offer the break down we mentioned before. 

Check-in with yourself

Each quarter (or week), review your progress and evaluate how you’re doing. Are you making progress toward your big goal or did you derail with other responsibilities? If you’re not on track, what can you do to get back on it? Or, do you need to reevaluate your goal? Sometimes things will change throughout the year, and that’s ok, but don’t use it as an excuse to forget about your goals! Adapt them and keep going. 

By checking in with yourself you can make sure you’re on track toward your goals. And make sure you celebrate every time you achieve a milestone, your hard work is paying off!

Adapt

Like we mentioned before, sometimes things change throughout the year. That’s ok! Just make sure that you adapt your goals as well. Don’t use this as an excuse to not work on a goal. Say, for example, that you are crushing your sales goal… aim higher! Or that certain company-wide priorities shifts to something else, change your goal accordingly. 

The important thing is to not let your goals fall to the wayside because your priorities changed. 

Setting yearly goals is something we should all be doing. If your company doesn’t have a plan in place to do this, make sure you do it on your own. You’ll see how your work year is a lot more structured and successful because of it.

Year-End Reviews Preparing for and Delivering Reviews to Employees

Everyone looks forward to the year’s end for one reason or another – a chance to make new resolutions, or a company bonus. However, in order to determine the scale of wage raises and merit bonuses, we all have to get through year-end reviews. If you’ll be conducting some of these, check out our tips and tricks to help navigate through the next month or so.

Prepare Employees in Advance

The best managers and team leads communicate successes and areas for improvement prior to bi-yearly review time. What you communicate to your employees in a private review should not come as a surprise to a well-informed worker. In order to prepare your employees properly, send out a sort of worksheet that they can use to answer a few questions. This worksheet should reference the position description and include questions like:

  • What was your biggest accomplishment in the last 6 months?
  • What is your best strength, and how have you used it to improve recently?
  • What areas do you think you could use some help with?
  • What are your goals for the next 6 months? How can we help you achieve those goals?

Make sure you receive this worksheet back from your employees in ample time to review each thoroughly and make comments ready for review day. If there is a discrepancy between what your employee thinks of their progress and what your perception of their work has been, try to figure out why.

Prepare Yourself in Advance

While you’ll expect your employees to give a little in the way of conversation, you should be prepared with many talking points to keep the meeting rolling. Make sure to provide ample time between sections for questions and feedback. If you’ll be covering statistics and metrics, make sure to provide some context so that your employees know where they stand – if they’re excelling, make that clear. If your worker is lagging behind, make a plan to bring them up to speed and set them up with a mentor ahead of time.

Choose the Right Environment

One of the most important things you can do is to facilitate a non-threatening environment for your employees during review sessions. While you want to aim for professional, not casual, that doesn’t mean you need to set a sterile tone. Employees will be more receptive to both positive and negative feedback if they feel safe and supported. Let them know you’re here to help them succeed, whatever that means.

Follow Up and Request Feedback

This part may be best if employees are able to remain anonymous – if you ask them to put their names on feedback forms, your workers are less likely to give negative opinions; after all, you are their boss! Following up after quarterly or bi-annual reviews is imperative, especially if you made promises to assist someone in catching up. Follow through on any help you offered and check-in at regular intervals – this way, your employees don’t feel forgotten or directionless. 

Well-prepared performance reviews are an indication of a great employer-employee relationship. It is with this that you build an environment of success and support in the workplace. Take the opportunity this year to one-up last year’s reviews; both you and your workers will benefit from having a bit more direction and clear-cut goals to work towards.

Holiday Decorating: Office Style

If we’re all being completely honest, the majority of “holiday cheer” and the sought-after “holiday spirit” comes from all of the brilliant lights and decorations we see all around us! Driving through downtown the saplings may be strung with white lights; your city or town might even decorate a tall evergreen in the park! Decorated houses also spark joy, with their twingly lights, garlands and lawn inflatables. Regardless of what holiday you celebrate, it’s uplifting and might even spark joy in your heart to see inflatable snowmen and hear holiday music.

With all this being said, what better way to carry the holiday spirit with you than to bring it into your workplace? Positive attention to details like holiday decoration and themed treats are known to lift the office atmosphere and contribute to positive company culture. While it might seem like a great undertaking to decorate the office, it will surely be worth the smiles on everyone’s faces.

Talk With Management

If you will be taking point on holiday decoration, reach out to upper management to see what ground rules there are. They might want to keep large nails out of the walls and avoid hanging items from the ceiling, for example. You may also want to ask what, if any, existing holiday decorations they have in storage – maybe a previous manager enjoyed decorating but no longer works for the company! Start off on the right foot, and don’t overstep any boundaries if you don’t own the space yourself. 

Be Prepared

Unless you’ll be using decorations already stored at your office, you’ll likely need to transport items from home or a department store. It’s best to take a look at your canvas, so to speak, in order to get an idea for how much you will need. Will you run string lights over the top of all the cubicles? Do you want a holiday village for the break room? Are there many windows that you’d like to decorate with window clings or snowflakes? Take time to make a list of the ideas that come to mind when you are observing your office.

If it’s within your budget and your vehicle allows, it’s better to have too many decorations than not enough. If you find you are left with extra items, bring them home with you or send them home with a coworker – spread the cheer!

Have Fun!

The whole point of decorating is to spread holiday cheer and help build positive memories. Try not to view decoration as a chore, but, rather a fun activity that you can get others involved in. Pick up a couple of boxes of sugar cookies from the bakery, a box of hot coffee from the local coffee shop, and invite some coworkers to join you! Don’t forget to play some peppy holiday music as you hang lights and decorate windows – that would be a missed opportunity!

Workplace Birthday Parties How to Throw a Memorable Party for Your Coworker

Birthdays are one of a few days a year that we get to spend solely on ourselves; as coworkers, we can choose to make this day special for others through any number of methods. By far, the most effective way to make a coworker’s birthday more than just another day at the office is to arrange a party!

Get the Okay

The first thing you should do when planning a party is to clear any festivities with your boss or manager. Some team leaders will ask that you set up a party during the lunch break, so as to not interrupt anyone’s workday. Other companies may welcome a come-and-go party with snacks and decorations set up all day. Talk to management before planning or buying anything massive.

Food and Drink

What would a birthday party be without snacks? The week before your coworker’s birthday, ask some probing questions about your friend’s favorite drinks and chips. What kind of cake would they like? Make notes of all of these things so that you can have their favorite things on hand!

Decorations

Depending on the space you have to work with – break room, empty cubicle, an empty office – you can decorate an area as much or as little as you want. Even a few balloons can lift the spirits in a small space. Check your local party store for decorations that might help bring a birthday atmosphere to your venue, regardless of the size.

To Gift or Not to Gift

It can be difficult to decide whether or not to spend money on a gift for a coworker. Depending on how generous you wish to be, you can do as little as a personalized card. Even though you might be footing the bill for the food and decorations, it will be nice for your coworker to be able to bring something from the party and keep on their desk. This will remind them about how thoughtful you were to set up such an event just for them!

Inviting Others

Don’t forget to let everyone in the office know about your intention to set up a birthday party for someone – after all, you’re not the lucky birthday recipient’s only coworker! While it may not be proper to ask others for donations to throw the party, some people may offer; this may make it easier for you to do a little bit more.

Office Card

Make sure to purchase a card with plenty of space for everyone to wish your coworker a happy birthday! Some people will simply insert their own name – others may wish to write a note of their own. Purchase this shared card a week or more in advance so that it has time to make it’s way all around the office. Try your best to keep it out of the hands of the birthday guest of honor, though!

Throwing an office birthday party is an amazing way to recognize a coworker. It’s easy to feel lost in the lull of the office as if everyone is the same. What a great idea to help someone feel just a little bit more special one day of the year – on their birthday.

Office Movie Nights The How-To and Why You Should

When you consider office functions, what typical things come to your mind? Some common things might be an office holiday party, Halloween event, or New Year’s Eve bash. Exterior functions and events can serve to boost team and company morale, so they are great additions to the event list, year-round. In fact, an incredibly unique way to spend an evening with coworkers could be to set up a movie party!

Planning

Depending on the space available and employees to attend your movie night, you may need to do some rearranging of seats and furniture; do you need to move a flat-screen from another part of the office? Will you be using a projector? If so, how will it be best set up so that everyone can see properly? What hardware will you be using to play the content? Do you need extra HDMI cables or any adaptors for the display device?

Speak to your employees in advance to see who might be interested – get a head-count so that you have ample space and snacks! Will you be asking employees to bring their families? If so, make sure to choose an age-appropriate movie or inform employees what you’ll be playing; this way they can make executive parental decisions as to whether or not to bring along the kids.

Pick a Movie, or Take a Poll

It can be fun to let the employees pick a movie if you have plenty of time to narrow things down. Take a fill-in-the-blank poll, and see what comes to people’s minds. As you get closer to the movie night, select the most popular and take a new poll – ask everyone to rate their picks from one to last. This may help you decide what to put on the big screen if you’re stuck; remember, you can always plan another movie night later on in the year to watch another crowd-pleaser!

Get Snacks!

The large majority of people far prefer watching a movie with a snack to munch on – just picture the movie theatre! Check out your local dollar store for chips and candy; this is a great way to get lots of food if you’ll have many guests. Don’t forget to pick up drinks! Soda and lemonade are nice, but you’ll need ice, too. Pick up some bottled water so that everyone can have something to drink during the movie.

Allow Ample Time

Since the aim of an office movie night is really to bring coworkers closer together in a less formal setting, you should dedicate some down-time for chatting. Inform employees that snacks will be out fifteen to twenty minutes before the movie starts – this will encourage people to show up before the movie starts! Hopefully, everyone can mingle and get to know any new faces or family members that have tagged along.

Above all, have fun! This is definitely a unique and under-used method to boost company and team morale. Everyone loves a good movie, and movies are best shared with family and friends – those we spend the most time with each and every day. Have fun with this event; get employee input on the excitement level for the event, and ask how they enjoyed time with their coworkers. If you find that it went well, consider another movie night next quarter!

Gratitude: Showing Clients You Care

As a business owner or team leader, you already know how pivotal your client base is to your operation. After all, your customers are what keep your business afloat! Customer appreciation days are widely practiced due to their remarkable ability to increase sales and revenue, all while boosting customer and employee morale. It really is in every company’s best interest to give a little bit back to the consumer.

What Can You Do

Depending on your business, you can take this project in any number of directions. Large corporations can start by reworking automatic emails and by speaking to representatives on what sort of tone should be carried in conversation. Restaurants usually succeed at customer appreciation by running an appreciation day once or twice a year – for this, you could lower prices and offer a raffle prize!

Smaller businesses who are on first-name bases with customers have a wider range of options. Send out custom cards, thanking your clients for their continued participation in your business. Consider handwriting some or all of the cards so that they bear more weight. If this isn’t possible, select the top percentage of your clients – those that bring in the most profit.

Consider running statistical analyses from before and after your customer appreciation experiment. While it’s nice to see the benefits firsthand, always remember to keep sincerity and honesty at the core of your company values. The only thing worse than failing to show appreciation to your clients is to go too far and appear forceful or cheesy. 

Can’t find the right words to recognize clients on your own? Here are a few tried-and-true ideas to help you brainstorm what might be best for your particular business:

  • Offer coupons and gift cards either through physical or e-mail. Customers will feel like you thought specifically of them. Be sure to thank clients for their ongoing patronage in your message.
  • Run a Twitter campaign if you have a social media team up to the task. Hashtag your brand name and some short slogan that describes what you’d like to portray to your loyal customers.
  • Offer special rewards, free items, or heavy discounts on a customer’s birthday. You can automate these things if your client base is large, but don’t forget to make the message feel personal and thoughtful.
  • Run a customer spotlight weekly, or even more often. Recognize customers for doing good deeds or using your product to help others.

The great thing about customer appreciation is that you can make it as elaborate or as simple as you like. From extra smiles on cashiers to free beverages on birthdays, the possibilities are endless. Your clients will love the recognition and genuine interest your company shows. It’s in every business’s interest to invest in a customer appreciation campaign.

For more ideas, check out our services 😉

Congratulating Co-Workers

Exciting happenings will occur in your workplace quite frequently: new babies, promotions, engagements… etc. It’s always nice to hear a simple “congrats” from your co-workers, but sometimes it shines a bit brighter under different presentations. The situation for which you are offering congratulations will determine what might be appropriate.

Milestones

While reaching certain milestones in life may seem like a celebration-worthy event from outside, some people struggle with these moments. Turning fifty, for example, would be a perfect time to congratulate a co-worker who has a positive outlook on the rest of their life. Make sure to be delicate in your wording of notes and messages to peers who might not feel the same way you do about aging.

Office parties are a great way to get everyone excited about your co-worker’s milestone! Buy a cake, have it decorated, and maybe purchase a small gift that commemorates the event. Have the whole floor sign a fancy card!

Engagements and Weddings

What an exciting time for your co-worker! Elaborate congratulations and even asking questions would be a great place to start. If you are able to, offer to purchase something on the wedding registry when it becomes available, or offer a small token of your excitement for the two. Marriage is an amazing part of life for those that choose to follow that route.

Pregnancy Announcements

A common rule of thumb with offering congratulations is to match the co-worker’s excitement. Some topics will be touchy and you might not even know it! Read the expressions and emotions of the person you will be congratulating to make sure you don’t offend. For example, your co-worker may be terrified to find out they are pregnant or that their partner is expecting. Depending on the situation, you can offer your assistance and advice.

Births

Whether it’s your co-worker’s first child or following, the birth of a newborn is both an exciting and stressful time. Many people will take some time off to be with their new addition, so be sure to have something prepared for when they return. One great idea might be a baby book, signed by you and the rest of your team. New parents are always in need of diapers, and it’s always a welcome gift. Not sure what size to buy? Size one diapers will definitely fit within several weeks of a baby’s birth unless they were prematurely born. Another tried-and-true gift would be baby onesies – new parents go through far more of these in a day than imaginable. Anything that extends laundry day is a lifesaver.

Career Achievement

Promotions and other recognitions are the perfect opportunities to make an elaborate celebration event. Office parties with food and tasty treats will help lift the mood, bringing attention to your co-worker. Coordinate with those around you to make your peer feel special! Perhaps you could even work with your boss to get a certificate of recognition created that can be gifted at the office party. 

Above all, however, it’s important that your words and actions are true to you. You and your co-workers are close; you work together more hours than you see your family members sometimes. It’s kind and thoughtful to go out of your way to congratulate these people in your life on their achievements and milestones. No matter how you do it, it will be appreciated if it comes from the heart.

Delivering Positive Feedback: Helping Your Co-Workers Succeed Through Positivity

Have you ever been asked to conduct a peer review? It’s probably one of the toughest and most dreaded things you can face as an employee – often we don’t feel in the right position to be offering feedback to our peers. Contrary to what you might initially think, you are, in fact, uniquely qualified for this task! In fact, even if you aren’t explicitly asked, you should always be looking for ways to build up your team members. Offering useful, constructive criticism is a great place to start.

One of the first things you should admit to yourself is that you may have more experience with how a peer works on a day-to-day basis – how they react to stress, large projects, or negative customer interactions. How often do they require assistance or ask for help without going to a manager? Your daily experience working with your peers is uniquely valuable to your superiors!

Don’t Be Vague

While a general pat on the back can make someone feel good, it won’t necessarily point out what their strengths are. Give as much detail within your verbal or written feedback as you can; discuss how you observed their strengths play into this positive outcome. Encourage your peers to harness more of what is being praised in the future!

Don’t Shy Away

Often, we may notice an area for improvement in our peers – if it’s obvious that someone is struggling with something, it’s in no one’s best interest to stay silent. Finding the perfect way to word constructive criticism can be hard, but that shouldn’t stop us from offering it. Feedback should always be delivered with the improved performance of the individual in mind; you are here to help them identify how they can use their strengths to tighten up the loose ends.

Don’t Patronize

If you do need to deliver some constructive criticism, skip the “sandwich” approach (delivering a negative tidbit in between two positives). This tactic is always obvious, and it can be received quite poorly by some people. While a “sandwich” may seem to lessen the blow, it can actually bring down the recipient even further. Choose instead to level with your peers, taking an approach more like this: “here’s what’s happening, and here’s how we can leverage your strengths to fix it”.

Keep it Professional

Some people are simply more likely to take criticism personally than others – in those cases, try your best to be gentle in your approach. Others, however, are extremely open to new ideas and love hearing that others are invested in their success. Keep in mind as you formulate peer reviews, or consider providing feedback, that your comments should only address this person’s work. This will help the recipient not feel attacked or targeted in any way.

Positive peer feedback can help create a great company culture where employees feel supported and cared for by their peers. While comments from supervisors are nice, knowing that your team members care about your success can improve performance and inspire confidence. Take every opportunity you can to build up your coworkers – even outside of peer reviews.