Every employee likes to think they’re doing a good job and that they’ll be rewarded for their hard work. Perhaps, that’s why offering critical feedback can be so difficult – no manager wants to be seen as a “bubble burster.” Plus criticism implies judgment and, let’s face it, who really wants to judge or be judged?
However, as one of today’s leading staffing agencies, Peoplelink knows that when an employee isn’t delivering, then it’s imperative you speak up. After all, they’re never going to be able to fix the issue if they don’t even know about it. In the meantime, you’ll grow even more frustrated and possibly passive aggressive toward them in the process – which really isn’t fair.
At the end of the day, it’s in your employee’s best interest – as well as the best interest of the company bottom line – to provide critical, but constructive, feedback. Here’s how to do it in a positive way:
Give Feedback in Small Doses.
Don’t stockpile an entire arsenal of poor performance examples and then unload them one by one at your next meeting with a particular employee. Criticism is best taken in small doses, so when you see a behavior you want changed, then address it immediately.
Start With Something Positive.
Feedback is hard to take. What makes it a bit easier to swallow, though, is when you first recognize something positive that the employee has done. When you only offer negatives, the employee will immediately get defensive and won’t really hear what you’re saying. But when you offer a mix of positives and negatives, then they’ll be more open to addressing the issue at hand.
Do It In Person.
It’s tempting to just shoot off an angry email when an employee isn’t performing up to par. But don’t do it. Feedback is best doled out in person, where an employee can ask questions; emails, on the other hand, leave room for interpretation and confusion.
Don’t just tell an employee you want to see them improve in a certain area; offer them the advice, guidance, tools, or resources necessary to help them. Work with your employee to get them where you want them to be. Let them be a player in the process by asking them questions like, “what do you think you need from me to achieve this goal?”
Be a Good Listener.
Once you’ve stated the area in which you’d like the employee to improve, be open to hearing what they have to say about it. Perhaps they haven’t been given the right tools or support to succeed in that area of their job. The more an employee feels like their voice is heard, the more open they will be when it comes to learning and taking your feedback to heart.
The best managers not only know how to make use of an employee’s strengths, but also how to improve upon their weaknesses. Offering critical, yet constructive feedback, is essential to achieve that goal and becoming the best manager you can be.
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