"Formal feedback" is an intentional and planned process of giving feedback to an employee in a workplace. Job evaluations are a common example of a formal feedback process. Others include weekly progress review meetings and mentor meetings for coaching and development.
The purpose of a formal feedback system is to ensure that feedback process is completed and that the goals for employee development are realized. Choosing the right setting, using data or documentation to make points, sticking to a preset time frame, inviting input from the employee and setting time-specific goals ahead of the next meeting are additional keys to an effective formal feedback process.