4 Strategies for Giving Negative Feedback in a Positive Way

As a manager or business owner, part of your job is to give feedback. When it’s praise, it’s easy to communicate. However, when it comes to constructive criticism, it can be much more difficult to approach employees.

But, as one of the leading staffing firms in Southern New England, Stewart Staffing knows if you want to get underperforming team members back on track, it’s a must. After all, how will they know what they’re doing wrong if you don’t tell them? Not only that, but if you let mistakes continue to happen, it will impact morale, productivity, and profitability. On the flip side, a positive work environment – one in which people have clear goals and know where they stand – leads to improved productivity and lower turnover.

Not sure where to begin? There are ways to give negative feedback in a positive way. Here are a few strategies to put into practice:

#1: Deliver it one-on-one.

Don’t call an employee out during a meeting or in front of other staff. This will only put them on the defensive. Instead, schedule a private, one-on-one meeting where you can honestly discuss the situation and get your employee’s take on it.

#2: Give more good than bad.

If all people hear about is negative feedback, then they’re going to quickly grow disengaged. That’s why it’s important to balance it out with recognition and praise for good performance. One rule of thumb is to offer five instances of positive feedback to every one constructive statement.

#3: Get specific.

When giving feedback, be as specific as possible. Don’t just focus on the behavior or performance issue (such as frequent tardiness). Talk about what happened, when it happened, any other employees involved, what your reaction was, and the impact it’s having on the team. Give concrete examples so there’s no confusion or miscommunication on the matter. Also go into detail about your expectations going forward.

#4: Be objective.

When employees get feedback, they shouldn’t feel like they’re under personal attack. This can be difficult when you’re talking about a negative event or behavior. However, it’s important to identify the issue and the consequences, all while keeping your personal feelings out of it.

Giving feedback is a tough but necessary part of the job. Follow the tips above so you can make the most of it and keep employee performance on track.

Need more help with these and other HR- and staffing-related issues?

Stewart Staffing can help. As one of the leading staffing firms in Southern New England, we can take the hassle out of HR, staffing and hiring, so you can focus on other priorities. If you’d like to learn more, give us a call today.

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