When you are giving constructive criticism to an employee, think of it to be more like a discussion rather than a one-sided rant because believe us, no one is going to like it one bit. It is also essential that you keep your voice neutral, low and factual.
Don’t insert too much emotion into your voice to ensure that the employee thinks the criticism is fair and well reasoned rather than patronizing. Moreover, consider the time and place. A group space is never a good place to deal out criticism as you run the risk of causing shame, anger or disgrace that will not encourage change or positive development.
Last but not the least, constructive criticism should always be given by a trusted source as it will be well-received. So, foster relationships with your employees to develop a positive feeling and focus on one area of change to ensure clarity.
In addition to the prerequisites of discussing an employee’s objectives, here are some tips to make it easier for you to get the task done without any added embarrassment or absurdity.
1) Think About Why Its Essential to Give Constructive Criticism
Treat criticism as not a personal dig at someone, but rather a helpful tool to correct behavioral problems and collaborate with others to make a positive change. Don’t treat is as a way to vent your anger or stress or to boost your own ego.
2) Positive Goals Instead of Reprimanding Past Objectives
Instead of reprimanding a person over the missed opportunities and lost goals in the past, focus on newer tasks and let the past negative actions go.
3) Be Specific and Smart About Setting Goals and Challenges
New research suggests that goals that are specific and challenging but achievable at the same time are more likely to produce task performance at a higher level. S.M.A.R.T tasks help a person grow, encouraging them through a feeling of personal success.
4) Don’t Be Personal and Begrudging
Always separate your work from your own personal thoughts and views about a person. Don’t outright say, “You are doing this wrong”. Say something like, “Scheduling can help you give more structure to your work processes”. Don’t let them think that you disapprove of a personality trait but rather the way it’s affecting their work. It’s all about phrasing your words correctly.
5) Prescriptive Instruction Should Be a Last Resort
If you observe a wrong approach taken by an employee that is hindering their work process, don’t go outright and tell them how to do things. Don’t be dictatorial. Tell them what you think is wrong and let them figure out a solution on their own. You can chip in with suggestions and offer help. However, let them figure out what works best for them.
6) Constructive Criticism Should Be Followed By Feedback
After you give constructive criticism, keep a close eye on the employee and observe if they are trying to turn their professional life around. Track their progress and monitor their achievements. If things are good, don’t be hesitant to give positive feedback as an incentivized boost.
7) Don’t Ignore the Benefits of Constructive Criticism
If someone is not pulling their weight around, don’t shy away from telling them that criticism and appraisals go hand in hand. Don’t think about sparing their feelings. Think about how they will be unable to improve if they have no one to tell them where they are lacking in their performance. It is an ultimate way to ensure that both of your objectives are achieved.