This is a repost from Dale Carnegie. You can read the original post here.
In a recent Dale Carnegie Training Employee Engagement study, employees stated that their engagement and emotions in the workplace are driven by the immediate supervisor and his or her behavior and attitude. If managers don’t want disengaged workers, they need to learn how to provide feedback and constructive criticism in a positive way, without insulting the employee. An effective manager achieves this primarily by providing encouraging feedback. The ultimate objective of feedback is not only to provide employees with supportive and corrective insights that relate to organizational objectives, but also to make the employees feel supported, motivated, and engaged. However, sometimes corrective actions are necessary. Handling mistakes or conflicts is often a difficult process for managers.
- Define Job Goals Clearly In today’s business world, employees are much more empowered than in the past. However, the decision-making process or other changes can sometimes lead to mistakes. Initially, managers need to prepare and communicate the desirable outcomes, coach in time of change, and react fast when mistakes come up. Constructive feedback is the tool to handle employees’ mistakes without insulting them, and it serves as employees’ motivation for improving decision making and results.
- Prepare Research the facts and gather all information available. Make sure you know the person and all facts before you meet. Try to look behind the facts to better understand the other person’s point of view and motivation. Empathetically show the employee that you fully understand the situation from all angles.
- Begin with Empathy and Appreciation Starting with understanding shows good will and mutual trust accumulated over time. Put the employee at ease by showing honest appreciation supported by evidence. Show an example of great work done by the employee. Make a transition to constructive feedback using “and” rather than “but”.
- Refer to the Mistake Address any situation as soon as it comes up. Focus on the problem, not the person. Adopt the attitude and action you want the other person to exhibit. Speak quietly and calmly, and then it is likely the other person will do so in return. Communicate that the action was wrong, not the person who did it. Give the employee the chance to explain what happened. Listen to understand if the person is accepting responsibility.
- Restore Performance The purpose is to remedy the problem and to reduce the chances of the problem happening again. The employee can be involved in problem analysis and the decision-making process. When an employee accepts responsibility, effective questioning, listening, and coaching for corrective actions encourages them to suggest ways to correct the situation.
- Provide Constructive Feedback Focus on the person. When acting inappropriately or making bad decisions, people lose confidence. Managers need to help the employee see the situation in different context and reassure the employee of his or her value to the organization. Maintain motivation, engagement, and empowerment to avoid discouragement. Assure employee of his or her importance to the team and the organization. Keep your professional relationship warm and open.
- Retain the Employee The employee knows now that the manager is committed to the employee’s success and growth. When a manager retains the employee, he or she wins the commitment and boosts the morale of the whole team. This builds trust and increases the level of communication and work ethic.