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How to effectively provide negative feedback to your employees? Part 2


ManagementStyleMost managers blame their employees for their poor performance instead of talking directly to them about these issues. Unfortunately, some of these managers try to take the easy way out, and turn a blind eye to their employee’s issues. After all, confronting someone about their behavioral issues is not the prettiest thing in the world. Thus, in this blog, I will continue my conversation from my last blog, and provide you with couple of other ideas that you can use while providing negative feedback to your employees.

Don’t give advice: Even though most managers recognize the importance of giving their feedback to their employees, they completely misunderstand the meaning of feedback itself. Instead of utilizing the feedback time for giving their feedback to their employees, these managers try to give their advice to their employees during these feedback meetings. It is not always appropriate to give advice to other people. If your advice does not work, you will be blamed later for it. Thus, you should rather try to share your opinions and ideas with your employees, and let them come up with an appropriate solution by themselves. Suppose an employee who is having trouble with some task comes to you and asks, “What am I doing wrong?” Instead of giving advice, share your personal experience with your employees. For example, you might describe a similar problem you had, and how you handled it. It is then up to them to decide what to do. This approach will not only make them independent, but it will also improve their knowledge base.

Don’t delay your feedback: If you want to provide an effective feedback to your employees, you need make sure that your feedback is always timely. Well timed feedback is more likely to provide you with the right results than delayed feedback because it allows the person to correct actions or behaviors while they are still fresh. For example, if your employee messes up the accounting system, you might want to discuss the problem with the responsible employee immediately, if possible, or at least within a day or two. Even though you want to provide your feedback to them immediately, try to consider the environmental factors first. For example, if you point out the employee’s mistakes in front of a group of coworkers, it is likely to be resented. Thus, try to provide the sensitive feedback in a private setting, probably in a one-on-one meeting or something.

Don’t be overpowering: No one wants to look bad in front of others, we all want to feel intelligent in front of others. This goes for your employees as well. During your negative feedback communication, your employees will often continue to argue for a plan even when it is obviously not working or in the best interest of the organization, because they want themselves to look good in front of you and others. Thus, during these meetings you should provide an avenue to your employees to save their face. Your employees are more likely to accept your negative feedback if you allow some degree of face saving for them. For example, instead of saying, “Your idea was rejected,” mention that the rejection was due in part to lack of funds or other factors, thereby allowing them to save their face.

With these pointers, I am ending my two-part series blog about – ‘providing negative feedback to your employees’. If you have any other ideas through which we can make this process easier, then please share your ideas with me through your comments here. Thanks – Bhavin Gandhi

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How to deal with the frustration of your employees?


EmployeeFrustrationWe are all humans, and we all have moments of disappointment when things don’t go our way. And I am sure, as a manager, you must have encountered these situations often, when your employees are feeling down for not accomplishing something that they have set their target on. Although most employees can easily navigate through these small bumps, sometimes you need to jump in when you see these opportunities. Having a quick one-on-one chat with your employees during these tough times would soften the blow, and lead them to a quicker recovery. So, what should you talk about during these times? Following are some of my advice…..

Appreciate their work: When you sit down with your employee to analyze the issue, you must not forget to appreciate their hard work first. Tell your employees that their work is highly valuable and their efforts are highly appreciated. This kind of conversation starter will put your employees at ease before discussing their issues. If I were their manager, I would say something like this – “These kind of issues keep on happening, and despite our best efforts, sometimes things don’t work out our way. But look at what you have accomplished, you tried something new, and got new experience, that’s what is important. After all, you can’t be perfect at everything, right?” This approach will not only let your employees know that you care, but it will also ease their mood before before having the actual conversation.

Walk through the issue: Once you have soothed the attitude of your employee, you can then get back to the business. Now, try to talk to your employee about the issue at hand and walk through it with them. By walking through the entire scenario again, you will get some good insight on the issue, and might be able to provide your valuable feedback to your employee. If he/she was expecting one outcome while other team members were expecting something else, then try to find out where did this disconnect come from? Were there some missing communications or interactions? Don’t interrupt your employee in between or recommend any solutions, just yet. Try to listen to his/her side of the story and take your notes on what might have gone wrong, that’s all.

Help them learn: Once you have completely listened to your employee and her side of the story, now it’s your time to help her think through the ‘do-over’.  Even though you are trying to help her, restrict yourself from coming up with any solution, just yet. Let her come up with her own solution to this problem. Ask her – “How can you handle it differently the next time?” Of course, the setback may have occurred even though she did everything right. So, try to ask her – “What were the factors outside of her control?” Try to help her gain a new perspective on these uncontrollable factors, so that she can handle them well in the future.

If you follow this three-part conversation while dealing with your employee’s frustrations, then you will encourage your employees to take better steps next time, rather than acting on their natural desire to avoid such situations in the future.

Was this blog helpful? Do you have any other ideas that you can share with me here?

Thanks – Bhavin Gandhi

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2015 in 21st Century, Leadership, Management

 

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