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Giving negative feedback is showing you care
Office Etiquette

Giving Negative Feedback is Showing You Care

Showing you care by giving negative feedback?? I know it sounds peculiar…
But the message is…When an employee is underperforming, don’t refrain from providing feedback because it’s negative.
It’s never an easy task and you may think at first, “my employee won’t change”…
However, my experience has shown me that when you do take the time to have this needed talk with your employee, it’s usually well worth the effort!

1  THE PROBLEM: It’s normal, it happens, one employee has not been delivering quality work.

Sometimes the manager does not feel like having the hard talk with his employee and chooses the easier path (consciously or unconsciously) by doing one of the following:

  • Edits his employee’s work to bring it to his own standards — of course this is not a lasting solution.
  • Gives some of the work to other teammates who perform better — there’s a risk of frustrating these employees who will slowly notice the scheme.
  • Starts ignoring the employee, thinking he will never change — abandoning an employee like this is the most effective way to make him lose his self-confidence and start believing he’s worthless – really not profitable for any company!

2 IN YOUR EMPLOYEE’S SHOES: Remember how you felt when you were not a manager.

We all need to know if our boss is satisfied with our work.
This is part of what stimulates us to continue to do good work and makes us feel we belong and matter for the team and the company.
When we receive regular feedback, hopefully more good than bad, it helps us gauge our efforts and gain confidence.

Now the reality is that giving feedback also means providing criticisms when necessary.

3  THE SOLUTIONS: Show you care by giving true feedback, even when negative – it’s all in the way you say and explain it.

Have a one-on-one conversation.  First outline your employee’s strengths to explain why he is an important part of the team. That’s why you want him to work on the other area that needs improvement. Be prepared to have concrete examples to provide to clearly demonstrate how the specific tasks should be done differently.

Have him work in a team with a colleague. This is especially a good idea when you work in a complex field because the reality is that “two heads are better than one”! Have them share responsibilities based on each one’s strengths. This can apply for a specific mandate or one of their regular tasks. The employees will feel more confident this way and good work will get done.

When you invest time in an employee, you show you care, you show respect for the person. And there’s a good chance you will reap the benefits! 


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