As a manager, it’s your job to give employees feedback to help them perform at optimal levels. When it’s positive words, the conversation is easier and more natural. But giving constructive criticism can feel awkward and uncomfortable. It’s why so many managers avoid it altogether and stay silent.
However, this can lead to a further decline in performance, costly mistakes, and angry customers. It can also cause disengagement and a lack of cohesion on the team as staff members are getting off track. It’s why you must have these difficult conversations to keep your company operating at peak performance. Here are some ways to do that:
Be timely with feedback.
Don’t wait days or weeks to give feedback. Instead, provide it right after an issue occurs or an incident happens. This will means it’s fresh in your mind and the employee’s, as well. They’ll be less likely to get defensive and more apt to take your criticism in stride. They’ll also be able to make improvements where needed and learn from the mistake.
Talk to them in person.
It’s certainly easier to shoot off an email or text than to talk to your employees in person about sensitive issues. But resist taking the more comfortable way out.
Have these conversations face-to-face, in person. This sends the message that you’re serious about the issue. It also gives the employee the chance to immediately respond and give you their perspective on it. They can ask questions, and you can both discuss next steps moving forward. It will be a more fruitful conversation, as a result.
Be clear, but also sensitive.
When you’re giving negative feedback, don’t berate or get angry with your employee. Instead, be clear and concise, stating the facts and giving examples without sugarcoating the situation.
It’s best to be direct and give the feedback to them straight, yet being sensitive when doing so. This will let them know you care about them as an employee, yet you also expect them to rectify the situation. Make sure they know you’re there to support them with any questions or resources they need.
Get specific and offer details.
Don’t simply offer vague feedback that your employee has a hard time interpreting, like “I expected more from you during this project.” It doesn’t give your employee a path forward or specify what you’re not happy with.
Instead, dig into the details, such as if they were late to meetings or missed certain goals or deadlines. This will help them understand where they went wrong and what to do going forward to fix the situation or avoid a similar issue in the future.
Ask for feedback.
While you’re often the giver of feedback as the boss, don’t forget to ask your employees for insight and opinions. This will help you to understand areas that are going well and issues that are escalating and need your attention. It will also help you address management concerns or problems, so your team stays engaged and loyal to your company. Finally, asking for feedback from your team builds a feeling of mutual respect, as you’re collaborating to do the best work.
Are employees stretched thin due to demand?
Then it might be time to add to your team. Let Future Force meet your staffing needs. We’re one of Orlando’s leading temporary hiring agencies. We specialize in light industrial, office/clerical, legal and accounting and finance recruitment. We can help you find the talented, reliable, hard-working people you need for a range of openings, from temporary to full-time. Contact us today to learn more.