Giving your employees constructive feedback can be difficult. Yet, it’s essential if you want to avoid mistakes, unhappy customers, and hits to productivity. That said, employee feedback should be handled with care. To ensure you’re approaching it in the right way, here are some steps to remember.
How Can You Give Employees Constructive Criticism?
Keep it private.
Make sure the conversation is happening behind closed doors. Otherwise, your employee will feel cornered and defensive. So schedule a time that’s good for them to have a private conversation about performance. Also, make sure this conversation is happening in person, not over an email, text, or phone call.
If you notice an issue, act quickly so you’re timely with your feedback. If you wait days, weeks, or months, the situation could escalate, or the employee might not remember what happened. Instead, quickly intervene when there’s a performance problem and get to the root of it.
Don’t make it personal
During the conversation, don’t berate or get personal. Keep it professional and positive so the employee doesn’t feel attacked. Otherwise, they’ll lose trust in you.
Ask them how it’s going.
They may or may not realize you have some issues with their performance. It’s important to approach the conversation as just that – a conversation, not an interrogation or an attack. Ask them how their work is going and if they’ve been dealing with any challenges. They might wind up bringing the problem at hand up during your conversation.
Recognize the positive.
Try to balance the negative with some positive. Tell them what you appreciate about them. Also, work with them to ensure they have the resources to correct course. You want them to walk away feeling like you’re both on the same team.
Establish a plan.
As you’re talking about the issue, offer specific examples, so your concerns are clear to the employee. Ask for their input on moving forward and collaborate together to create a plan to improve their performance. Check in with them regularly to monitor performance and ensure they are back on track.
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