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  • John Macedo


Updated: Aug 14

Learn how to give bad feedback to a coworker (your Foreman, your Labourer or your Project Manager, etc) in a way that nobody gets hurt.

Most Builders/Supervisors often avoid this part because they feel their corrective feedback might offend workers and will get them on the defensive. As a result, such Supervisors must refrain from doing criticism while providing feedback.

Also, In some cases, the opposite can also happen. Maybe the foreman is already used to being seen as a “bad guy”. As such, he just lays the feedback in a disrespectful or reckless manner. I will make a parenthesis here and tell you that this is actually the worst possible way to get things done.

Why? Because it would most probably cause workers to feel resentful about the job which will most definitely decrease their performance level and also bring many other possible problems.

Luckily, there is a way to handle the situation of giving critical feedback without looking like the bad guy. It is called the “Feedback Sandwich” (AKA the Sh*t Sandwich) and refers to mixing criticism with compliments.

So, what does actually mean? For instance, consider that you're a Project Manager you were not satisfied with a Construction Worker’s method used to carry out his task, use a format of compliment -> criticism -> compliment to tell him that. This way, he will focus on the compliment and see the criticism as words of encouragement to perform better.


Here's an example on a speech:

"Hi, Steve! You’re a good worker, mate! You’re on time and you perform well pretty much every day. You would be even better if you didn’t use your phone this much. It feels like you’re not paying attention sometimes or your head is elsewhere. Other than that, you’re a good guy and it’s awesome to have you on the team. Thanks for that!”

Doesn't feel like "STOP CHECKING YOUR PHONE!" does it?

You want to see it in action? Maybe have a look at this clip from The Office.

Its a display of brutal kindness isnt it?

Did you notices how the respect is always kept?


Be careful when providing bad feedback for a good thing.

If your worker was proactive and was trying to do something good that turned out to be not so good (or even bad), you MUST properly acknowledge the intention otherwise you will most probably kill the chance of this worker to be greater in the future.

"It was good, but could have been better" is you letting the perfect being the enemy of the good.

ALWAYS. be respectful and king in your manners.

Don't let the fact that you work on a construction site give you idea that you need to be a rough to be respected. Learn more about it here.



The firsts step for giving a good feedback is giving it. Yes, I'm serious. Many Supervisors, Foremen, Project Managers and even Labourers simply don't have the habit of appreciating and acknowledging their coworkers from time to time. But not only your workers, but the people in their life.

A compliment is a gift. And empathy is not a sign of weakness, but exactly the opposite

I'm excited that you learned this skill. This is one of the first steps to great leadership. Always keep in mind that empathy and brotherhood are the keys to create a great company. Click here to learn more about it.

Now, if you master the first step, make sure you tell your construction workers what exactly made you happy. What is the aspect of their performance that made exceeded your expectations. Letting them know the specifics will allow them to have a better understating of your metrics to evaluate good work and guide them in their grow.


Next time around fixing attitudes up, remember: A good since soft bread - then the serious filling - then another slice of that good bread.

A good old sh*t sandwich help your day-to-day life.

Want another insight on how fix your problems? Click here to understand more about communication on-site

Spades is a Labour Hire company based in Sydney. We are proud of offering skilled, competent workers for fair prices - while making the hiring process as easy as possible. Learn more about our company by clicking here.

Increase you workers productivity by improving a delegation method that never goes wrong. FREE ACCESS: Click here.

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Founder and Director.
I believe together we can create a "people first"

Australian Construction Industry 

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