Few people handle critical feedback eloquently and positively – especially the first few times it occurs. If your employees were in competitive activities, they might be a bit more prepared for reviews and performance evaluations. If, however, they’ve never been given areas to improve upon or negative reviews, it may come as a big shock. So, how can your Middle Market organization use feedback effectively and help your employees learn how to take critique without taking offense?
Your Middle Market Leaders Should Set The Stage…Early And Often
Some organizations have a yearly review process and employees may only hear about concerns then. Instead of correcting action and course immediately, they are given negative feedback months down the road. If this occurs in your organization, your leaders are not helping employees learn how to take constructive criticism…because you aren’t providing it.
Your leadership needs to become adept at providing feedback, positive and negative, in small doses all the time. If someone is doing a great job, tell them immediately AND note it in his or her review file. Don’t save it all up for an arbitrary meeting down the road. Likewise, if you spot something in need of correction, taking the employee aside and calmly explaining what needs to happen can save everyone time, energy and upset.
Let Middle Market Employees Know What You Value About Critical Feedback
If employees knew critical feedback is vital and everyone is expected to look for and provide it, what would happen? If you took the sting out by making it a learning tool rather than a perceived negative experience, could true growth occur? Taking critical feedback with an open mind and without becoming upset is a skill, which employees need to be developed. Your Middle Market company can help them grow it by changing how negative information is shared and viewed in your organization. Even the way you talk can make a difference. Mistake vs. misstep or an error vs. something that didn’t work are examples of how verbiage can change the reception of a comment.
Be Specific For Your Middle Market Employees And Make It About Their Growth
Letting employees know they will be given feedback frequently and it will not always be glowing is important. Provide the space for employees to make mistakes and take chances without fear. Moreover, when they make a misstep, provide specific feedback to help them learn. By letting them try and fail occasionally, the sting lessens. When you provide a specific example of what or how to change, they aren’t being punished, they are being coached. And, when you provide timely feedback, it allows them to adjust immediately instead of a bad habit becoming ingrained.
Negative feedback will likely never become an employee favorite, but your Middle Market firm can make taking critiques easier to swallow. Set employees up to succeed by teaching them to appreciate critical feedback and to learn from missteps.
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