Take The Negativity Out of Criticism

13 Jan

Positive and Constructive CriticismPerformance reviews are no fun for personnel managers and are rarely an enjoyable experience for workers. How could they be, when the primary purpose is to scrutinize and critique a person’s work?

Unfortunately, sometimes it is necessary to focus on poor performance. With the right delivery however, even negative feedback can be spun in a way that highlights the way a worker can improve, rather than just listing the things that he or she is doing wrong.

Create a culture where constructive feedback is regularly doled out – this will increase employees’ expectations that their output will be analyzed and may make them more receptive to supervisors’ coaching and comments. Encourage managers to tell workers when they’re doing a great job, as well as the times when they need to shape up.

Even for lower level workers, the company has likely made some training and education efforts, and you’ll want to see a return on employee investment. Avoid the temptation to write off under performing workers as “disposable” or “not worth the effort,” and go through their records in your human resource management system to spotlight the areas where they can improve.

Do you have any tips for making employee criticism more palatable? What’s the best way to tell a worker to shape up without offending or driving him or her out the door?

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