Constructive criticism has become an integral part of today’s corporate world. If given right, it can serve as a great tool to motivate your team members to raise their performance standards. This thoughtful feedback is delivered in a way that balances negative and positive points. In today’s competitive world, there are many employees who want feedback to help them achieve their career goals.
However, it is equally important to deliver constructive criticism in an effective manner so that employees should not feel disheartened.
Here are 10 smart rules to do it right:
- Notify about Feedback Session
Schedule a feedback meeting and let your team members know in advance. It is not wise to suddenly call them and start talking about their shortcomings. Not only it will hamper their productivity but also, they will start speculating about the situation. Let your teammates know that you have planned a meeting to discuss their performance. Give them time to come well prepared to present their concerns as well.
- Be Careful of Language
Words are more powerful when they come from higher authority. The way you convey a message can motivate or deflate your staff members. Take time to think about how you are going to present the facts related to their performance. Be mindful of using a specific language to address the subject in view. Remain respectful while focusing on positive and negative points.
- Do Watch Your Timing
If you have planned a feedback session during the hustling hours of employees or the year-end deadlines, it will not be effective anymore. While struggling with deadlines, employees are already under a strain to put their best foot forward, this could prove as the worst time for such a session. It is better to keep an eye on the team’s workload and prioritize productivity over feedback meetings.
- Start off On the Right Foot
As a manager, you should have a list of the areas where you exactly want your team members to improve. Always start with an honest compliment and let employees be in a receiving mode for the comments you are going to share. Remember, your feedback can be effective if it focuses on the positive while still analyzing areas for further improvement and better outcomes.
- Help them See the Big-Picture
You must have employees of different personality types in your organization. If you know your employees a little, it will help you frame your feedback in a fitting manner. Let them know how they are associated with the company’s growth. Do not reprove them with your feedback and help them learn how they can improve their performance. This will help in eliminating their fear of failure and they will be more likely to take it positively.
- Stay Focused to Make it Right
There are times when you see some employees need improvement in multiple areas. If you start talking about all of them, it will rather deflate employees. So, you should have a clear idea about two or three areas where his improvement can make a difference to the company’s goals. Keep it short and tell them precisely what you expect. This will avoid the possibility of brushing off your criticism.
- Approach with Different Mindset
While reviewing performance, it is better to start with a coaching mindset. Many managers act like critics, but this is not going to be helpful. It makes your employee feel uneasy. When you approach a feedback conversation with the attitude of a mentor or coach, your employee will grasp your point well. They will realize that you are helping them for their better contribution towards the company’s growth.
- Keep Your Answers Ready
Sometimes, the reason for a project failure does not mean a mistake or an employee’s performance. Few companies focus on sudden shifts in strategy which affect team goals. Moving team members to another project may bring excitement at first. However, if it requires staying back and skipping social engagement, it will bring down their performance. During the feedback session, they can point it out. So, justify the motive behind making a shift.
- A Wakeup Call for Comeback
While wrapping up your meeting, you should ensure that the employee has got an understanding of ‘what’s next for him. Here is when you should implement a call to action that includes liberty. Try to find out the root cause and what can be done to help him improve. Extend your support to get him trained in a particular skill or assign a team buddy to mentor him. Hence, you can motivate employees to take positive action towards their performance.
- A Follow-Up Session Ahead
While you have put in your efforts to deliver constructive criticism, it is important to schedule a follow-up session as well. The best way to weigh progress is to find out about the concrete steps that are taken by the employee after the last feedback session. It is better to make it a part of your company culture and let team members be familiar with it. A follow-up session should be focused on assessing the improvement and thus motivating employees to achieve better results.