As the boss, it’s your job to help your employees learn and grow. This means providing feedback on things they’re doing well and areas for improvement.
The thing is, all feedback isn’t useful. For it to really resonate, you need to get your delivery just right. Here are a few tips to help you critique employees’ performance in a manner that will help them.
Your employees aren’t mind-readers. If you vaguely address an issue — i.e., “You need to improve your performance” — they won’t have the information needed to make meaningful changes. The more specific you are, the better equipped they’ll be to make the improvements you want to see.
Address Issues in a Timely Manner
Waiting for quarterly or annual reviews to discuss problems is completely ineffective. If an employee needs to make a change, it doesn’t make sense to wait a few weeks or months to bring this up. In the meantime, they’ll keep making the same mistake and start becoming even more comfortable with the inefficient process they’re using. They might also even forget what they were doing wrong by the time you bring it up, so when you see something amiss, address it as soon as possible.
Keep Conversations Private
Publicly criticizing employees is mean and ultimately ineffective. You might not think it’s a big deal to address an issue in front of the group, but the person your comments are directed at might not share this opinion. Calling out a person’s mistake in front of others puts a spotlight on them many are not comfortable with. It can also be very embarrassing, so always take employees aside for a private conversation when giving feedback.
End With Something Positive
Sharing feedback on things employees could do better is necessary, but that doesn’t mean you can’t also focus on the positive. End each conversation with a compliment about something they’re doing well. This will send them away feeling good about the conversation, so they don’t get in the mindset that they’re terrible at their job.
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