Feedback is critical if you want employees to be at their best. However, delivering criticism around the holidays can be difficult, especially since most people associate the season with cheer and good tidings.
Luckily, it is possible to have challenging conversations without neglecting the spirit of the holidays. By using the right approach, negative points can be constructive, functioning more as guides than teardowns. If you aren’t sure how to deliver holiday cheer along with feedback, here’s what you need to do.
When it comes to feedback, avoiding ambiguity is a must. If you aren’t clear about your expectations, it is hard for the employee to gauge how to meet your needs. This leads to assumptions and poor communication and isn’t likely to resolve any issues.
Instead, let the worker know exactly what you expect. Articulate any goals or objectives associated with the role and what you want to see from them going forward. Additionally, give them an opportunity to ask questions. This gives them a chance to gain clarity on points they don’t fully understand, ensuring everyone gets on the same page.
Similarly, if there are any potential consequences for failing to meet expectations, outline those as well. Make sure the employee understands the repercussions and how they relate to their actions. Essentially, you want them to use cause and effect scenarios, making it abundantly clear what will occur and under what circumstances.
Focus on the Future
When an employee makes a mistake, it’s tempting to rehash what went wrong. While briefly discussing the issue may be necessary for context, failing to move beyond the misstep leaves both of your dwelling in the past, and that won’t help an employee improve.
After touching on the incident, refocus the conversation on the future. Discuss together what was learned from the experience and what could have been done differently, allowing the employee to provide input as a means of growing their level of awareness and problem-solving ability, while you also give them insight based on your experience.
By focusing on the future, you can help the employee create a solid plan for avoiding the issue should it arise again. This is more functional than pure criticism, as it gives them the tools they need to succeed the next time around.
Plan to Check In
After delivering feedback and planning for the future, you also need to schedule a time to check in on the employee’s progress. Depending on the nature of the issue, this may be a week or a month down the road, but it shouldn’t be any longer than that.
Pick a time frame that allows the worker to make progress, but not so long as to make it seem like the issue isn’t really important or that it might slip your mind. Then, get a date and time on the calendar, making it a firm appointment. This not only keeps it on your radar but provides the employee with clear expectations and a deadline, which may help further motivate them to improve.
By following the tips above, you can deliver feedback effectively, ensuring even challenging conversations aren’t more difficult than necessary. If you would like more information, the team at CPS Recruitment can help. Contact us to with your questions today and see how our workplace feedback expertise can benefit you.