By: Marlene Cosain
Performance evaluations, if used properly, can be a useful system. Praising employees for their efforts in the workplace and recognizing areas that need improvement is a constructive way to go over your employees’ performance; thus, providing your employees with feedback is imperative for development. Although the stereotypes depict reviews as something no one looks forward to, your staff actually wants to know what they are doing right and wrong. Knowing how to give empowering feedback is an important factor in the evaluation process because this can make or break whether an employee listens or shuts down. Here are four tips for giving helpful, informative feedback.
Start with the Positives
Start on the right foot when you are initiating a performance evaluation. It is only human nature to be all ears to appreciation and recognition. By expanding on what your employee is doing correct, you are setting the right mood for your conversation. Note that this is not the only time an employee should hear positive feedback. Performance evaluations are meant to reinforce points previously discussed in the workplace. For example, let your employees know how well they did on a sale, a time-sensitive project or a complicated task.
When it is time to ease into the negative criticism pay close attention to your word choice. It is easy to provide a vague review or counteract all the positive feedback that was just discussed when you use the word “but.” The word “but” is an automatic way to put an employee in a defensive mode. Instead of using the word “but” try using the word “and.”
For instance, executivepa.com states, “The word “and” makes a huge difference. Rather than telling someone there’s a hidden problem with their ability, indicate that there’s more to the point you’re trying to make. Instead of “you are good at x, but you’re bad at y”, it can be “you are good at x, and if you keep working at y, you’ll be even better.”