Sample Negative Performance Feedback Email: Tips and Examples

Receiving negative performance feedback is never easy. Whether it comes from a boss, colleague, or client, it can be hard to hear criticism about your work. But it’s important to remember that negative feedback is an opportunity for growth and improvement. With the right mindset and approach, you can turn criticism into positive change.

To help you navigate the tricky waters of negative feedback, we’ve put together some examples of how to respond to a performance review email that highlights areas for improvement. These examples are intended to serve as a starting point, and you can edit them as needed to fit your own situation. We believe that by showing you how to respond to negative feedback, you’ll feel more confident and empowered to take the necessary steps to improve.

So without further ado, let’s take a look at some negative performance feedback email samples and how to respond to them.

The Best Structure for Negative Performance Feedback Email Sample,Explained in Detail

Delivering negative performance feedback can be a challenging and daunting task, especially when doing so through email. It is important to communicate your feedback in a clear and concise manner so as not to cause confusion or misunderstandings. In this article, we will discuss the best structure for crafting an effective negative performance feedback email sample.


Begin by addressing the recipient with a professional greeting. Use their name and a friendly tone to establish a connection with them. This will help to create a comfortable atmosphere and make the recipient more receptive to your feedback. Briefly explain the purpose of the email and what you plan to discuss. By doing so, you set the tone for the rest of the email and avoid any confusion later on.

The Feedback

Provide a clear and specific list of what the individual has done wrong. Be specific and avoid making vague or general statements. State the facts and provide examples where necessary to illustrate your points. Avoid using language that is accusatory, harsh, or sarcastic. This will only alienate the recipient and make them less receptive to your feedback.

The Impact

Explain the impact of the individual’s actions on the team, department, or company. Be honest and explicit in your explanation. Use real-life examples to illustrate your points whenever possible. The goal is to help the recipient recognize the need for improvement and understand the consequences of their actions. It can be helpful to provide information on possible solutions or steps that can be taken to rectify the issue.

The Next Steps

End your feedback email by summarizing the key points and providing clear and actionable steps to move forward. Encourage feedback and open communication to ensure that the individual is comfortable expressing their needs and concerns. Emphasize the importance of making changes for the betterment of the team, department, or company as a whole.


End your email on a positive note. Express your appreciation for the recipient’s efforts and contributions. Remind them that you are there to support them and encourage their growth. Thank them again for their time and attention.

In conclusion, delivering negative feedback can be difficult. However, with a clear and concise structure in place, you can deliver your message effectively and respectfully. By following the above steps, you can construct an effective negative performance feedback email sample that will help to foster a positive relationship with the recipient and ultimately improve their performance.

Negative Performance Feedback Emails

Poor Time Management Skills

Dear [Employee name],

I am writing to provide feedback on your recent performance. While I appreciate your dedication towards the company, I have noticed that you have been struggling with time management. Your inability to prioritize tasks and meet deadlines is affecting the overall productivity of our team.

To improve your time management skills, I suggest that you create a to-do list and set deadlines for each task. Additionally, you can use time management tools to help you stay on track. I believe that with some effort and dedication, you can improve your performance and achieve better results.

Let me know if you need any assistance or support.

Best regards,

[Your Name]

Unprofessional Attitude

Dear [Employee name],

I am writing to provide some feedback on the recent incidents where your unprofessional behavior and attitude have caused conflict and tension in the workplace. Your behavior has not only affected your work but has also impacted the morale of the team.

The company has a code of conduct that outlines the expected behavior of employees. It is important that we maintain a professional environment at all times. I suggest that you review the code of conduct and make sure that you understand and adhere to it.

Please let me know if there is anything we can do to support you in improving your behavior and attitude.

Best regards,

[Your Name]

Lack of Communication Skills

Dear [Employee name],

I am writing to provide feedback on your communication skills. Your inability to communicate effectively has caused misunderstandings and delays in the projects you are assigned to. Proper communication is essential in ensuring the success of the company and our clients.

I suggest that you work on improving your communication skills, such as listening actively, asking questions, and giving clear and concise messages. I recommend that you attend communication skills training or workshops to help you improve your skills.

Let me know if you need any support or guidance.

Best regards,

[Your Name]

Low Quality Work

Dear [Employee name],

I am writing to provide feedback on the quality of your work. Your recent output has not met the required standards and has caused problems for our clients. It is important that we deliver high-quality work to maintain our reputation and keep our clients satisfied.

To improve the quality of your work, I suggest that you take more time to review your work before submitting. Also, if you are unsure or have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to your team leader or peers for guidance.

Please let me know if there is anything we can do to support you in improving your work.

Best regards,

[Your Name]

Lack of Initiative

Dear [Employee name],

I am writing to provide feedback on your initiative and proactivity in the workplace. While you are capable of completing assigned tasks, I have noticed that you lack the initiative to take on additional responsibilities or provide suggestions for process improvement.

I strongly encourage you to be more proactive in identifying opportunities to improve your workflow and the company’s overall performance. Consider taking on additional responsibilities or offering suggestions and ideas during team meetings. This will not only improve your performance but also showcase your value to the company.

Let me know if you need any support or guidance.

Best regards,

[Your Name]

Poor Attitude Towards Feedback

Dear [Employee name],

I am writing to provide feedback on your attitude towards feedback. Several of your coworkers have expressed that you are resistant to feedback and have been defensive when given constructive criticism. It is important to remain open-minded and receptive to feedback as it can improve your performance and growth.

I suggest that you try to remain neutral and avoid becoming defensive during feedback sessions. Consider using feedback as an opportunity to learn and grow. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to me or your team leader.

Let me know if there is anything we can do to support you in becoming more open to feedback.

Best regards,

[Your Name]

Unsatisfactory Attendance Record

Dear [Employee name],

I am writing to provide feedback on your attendance record. Your recent absences and tardiness have caused disruptions in the workflow and negatively impacted the team’s productivity. In order to maintain consistency and meet deadlines, it is important that everyone is present on time.

I suggest that you make every effort to be on time and present at work every day. If you have any personal or family-related issues that are causing you to miss work, please let us know in advance so we can adjust the workflow accordingly.

Please make every effort to improve your attendance record.

Best regards,

[Your Name]

Tips for Giving Negative Performance Feedback via Email

Providing feedback is an essential part of a manager’s responsibility, and sometimes that feedback will be negative. Delivering negative feedback through email can seem daunting, but done correctly, it can still be an effective way to communicate. Here are some tips to help you deliver negative performance feedback via email:

1. Be Direct and Specific: When providing negative feedback, it’s essential to get to the point. Start the email by stating the issue clearly and concisely. Mention specific examples of where the employee went wrong and explain how it negatively affected the work or team.

2. Emphasize Facts Over Emotions: Remember to be objective, rather than emotional, in your email. Stick to facts and avoid exaggerating the issue. Detail how the employee’s behavior failed to meet performance standards and provide examples to make your case.

3. Offer Constructive Criticism: While negative feedback is essential to an individual’s growth, remember to keep it constructive. Provide specific advice about how to improve, such as recommending resources or providing additional training. Encourage them to reach out to you with any questions or concerns.

4. Be Timely: It’s essential to provide negative feedback in a timely manner to ensure that the employee has enough time to improve. A delay can cause problems to fester, and the longer it goes on, the more complicated it becomes to resolve. If possible, deliver feedback as soon as possible after the incident or issue occurred.

5. End on a Positive Note: It’s vital to maintain the employee’s motivation and morale even when they receive negative feedback. Help the employee understand that they have potential and that you are confident they can improve. Finish off by providing encouragement and positive feedback, reinforcing the positive behaviors that can help them succeed.

In conclusion, negative performance feedback can be challenging, but with careful consideration, it can be delivered in a constructive way via email. By keeping these tips in mind, managers can help foster a positive work environment and enable employees to grow and develop to reach their full potential.

FAQs related to Negative Performance Feedback Email Sample

What is negative performance feedback?

Negative performance feedback refers to feedback given to an employee that highlights areas where they have not met expectations or have not performed well, usually in the context of their job responsibilities.

How should I respond to a negative performance feedback email?

You should first take a deep breath and not immediately react defensively. Take time to absorb the feedback and objectively assess if there is any basis to the feedback. Determine whether you need further clarification on any points in the feedback email and arrange to schedule a meeting with your supervisor if necessary.

What are the common mistakes to avoid when responding to a negative performance feedback email?

Common mistakes to avoid include becoming emotional or defensive, not taking the feedback seriously, not acknowledging any challenges or missteps that could contribute to the negative feedback, and not planning concrete steps going forward to address the feedback.

What are some effective strategies to improve my performance following negative feedback?

Effective strategies include seeking guidance and support from supervisors and colleagues, establishing measurable goals, regularly checking in with your supervisor to evaluate progress, seeking relevant professional development opportunities, and maintaining a positive attitude towards growth and improvement.

How should I balance acknowledging negative feedback while also maintaining my positive image?

Being able to acknowledge negative feedback while highlighting your strengths is key to maintaining a positive image. You can do this by thanking your supervisor for the feedback and acknowledging any areas where you have demonstrated improvement or success. Be open to suggestions for improvement and come up with a plan to address these areas, showing your willingness to learn and grow.

What should I do if I feel the negative feedback is unjustified or unfair?

You should first take the time to understand the rationale behind the feedback and ask clarifying questions if needed. If you still feel that the feedback is unjustified, consider providing additional information or context to your supervisor to explain why you feel this way. Ultimately, it is important to understand that feedback is subjective and there may be different perspectives on your performance.

How can I use negative feedback as an opportunity for growth and development?

You can use negative feedback as an opportunity for growth by approaching it with a growth mindset and actively seeking out opportunities to improve. Utilize the feedback to set goals and create an action plan to address any areas of weakness. Seek out additional resources, such as mentorship or professional development, to strengthen your skills. Remember, constructive feedback is an opportunity for growth and development.”

That’s All Folks!

There you have it, folks! A sample negative performance feedback email that you might encounter someday in your work. Avoiding mistakes at work is natural and it is an inevitable part of life, but what’s important is to be able to learn from them, and use feedback as a guide to become better at what we do. We hope this article has been helpful to you! Feel free to visit us again soon for more informative and entertaining articles!