In order to create a productive work environment, you need to be able to provide your employees with constructive feedback. This type of feedback points out things your employees may be doing wrong or areas that need improving. It is important to not “call out” employees in front of their co-workers, as this could have a negative impact.
Not only would the employee feel like you singled them out, but your other employees may empathize with the employee and view you as a mean boss. It could also result in other employees thinking they are equally enabled to “call out” their fellow co-workers because they have seen you do it.
Rather, when there are issues in the workplace, the best course of action is to schedule a one-on-one with the employee. You want to choose a quiet location, free from distractions. The goal of these feedback sessions is not to belittle the employee. Your objective should be to determine why the employee is falling short and what you can do as an employer to help them improve.
Constructive Employee Feedback Examples
- Don’t ask the employee to meet with you to discuss their performance. This will make the employee nervous and could result in them putting up barriers before you even have had a chance to meet.
- Do ask the employee if they have time meet with you to catch you up on their work tasks, progress on projects, and so on. This makes the employee feel less apprehensive about meeting with you and feel more relaxed.
- Don’t find fault and blame the employee for their shortcomings. Your employee will naturally become defensive. This could result in them not listening to your advice and recommendations.
- Do point out first what your employee is doing right. Providing positive feedback first will make transitioning to constructive criticism about areas they need improving easier.
- Don’t transition using works like “although,” “however,” or “but.” These words will turn positive feedback into negative feedback quickly.
- Do use informative statements. For instance, “I have noticed when you talk to customers you forget to mention …” Your employee will think more about their previous customer interactions and what they could have done better, rather than what they did wrong.
- Don’t overload your employee with numerous criticisms. If you bring up everything they are doing wrong, this can lead to information overload. Your employee can feel overwhelmed and confused and find it difficult to make any improvements.
- Do focus on a few key criticisms during each session. Proper employee development requires giving them time to grow and improve. By concentrating on a few points at each feedback session, your employee will have time to process what you said and take steps to implement your advice and suggestions.
One parting tip: Make a point of letting your employees know you want them to succeed and are there to help them. This will encourage them to come to you whenever they have a problem or need advice without having to wait for their next one-on-one session.
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