Working as a boss has both its blessings and its downfalls at times. Everyone wants to move their career in the right direction and become a "super-star" supervisor or manager at some point. Even though this happens for some, there will be difficult things to handle on the job as a manager. One of those difficult things could be critising employees -- that is giving feedback to either improve performance or to discipline an employee.
No matter how many years of experience you have as a manager, it can still be difficult to critisise employees. We will discuss how to do so without being a bad boss in this post.
Turn Criticism into Feedback
It is understandable that the word criticism brings with it a negative connotation while feedback offers a more positive feeling for those involved. When you turn criticism into feedback, it turns the situation into a learning process for the manager and the employee. Offering feedback will make the situation easier for all those involved.
Offer Criticism in Tiny Doses
You should never let issues with an employee pile up over a period of time because it will make the employee feel overwhelmed when you schedule a meeting to have the discussion. Instead of doing this, provide the employee with criticism in tiny doses. This will help the employee deal with the issues as they come up and possibly change their work methods so as to avoid any issues in the future.
Ask the Employee Open Questions
Prior to offering your employee any criticism, be sure to ask him or her questions about how and why they chose to do specific things at work. Other questions could also include asking the employee how the job could have been done better, where he or she thinks could perform better in the future and why they approached a project using the method they chose. These questions will help the employee figure out a new solution to a problem using their own insights.
Be Private When Offering Criticism
If you need to criticise your employee, make sure that it is done in private and not in front of the entire department. Criticising an employee in front of their co-workers is not an effective management skill. In fact, it could lead to the office turning against management, the culture taking a negative turn and many employees moving to a new company.
Always Follow-Up and Engage with Employees
After offering an employee criticism for the work performed, it is very important that you should follow-up with the employee. This does not have to be a formal meeting, but it should still be done in private. The follow-up meeting will help you measure how the employee has changed since the initial criticism was offered. This follow-up meeting will also help you determine if the employee is a fit for the company.
It can be very difficult as a manager to offer criticism to an employee, but it comes with the territory. If you use the tips outlined above, you should have no trouble criticising your employees without turning into a bad boss.
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