Giving feedback to employees isn’t always easy — especially when it’s going to be difficult for them to hear. Yet, every entrepreneur must do this to build a thriving business. But, there is a way to conduct these sitdowns without discomfort for either of you. You just gotta know how…
How to Get Positive Results from ANY Evaluation You Give
Before anything else, you have to have the right frame of mind when giving feedback to employees.
OTHERWISE, IT WILL BE A WASTE OF YOUR TIME!
And as a business owner, your time is money. There are two questions to ask yourself about any correction you want to give…
Should you take action at all?
Now, those of you familiar with how I do things know I never believe in doing nothing. What you need to determine here is whether this hire is worth working with.
Check out this example…
Let’s say, a staff member shows up to the office inebriated. In my companies, there is no performance review going to happen here — they’re fired.
No other action is necessary than handing them walking papers.
This is an extreme case. Nonetheless, don’t hesitate to let go of dead weight or ignore red flags. I promise you’re not doing them a favor and you’re stalling your growth.
Next, you need to examine the intention behind the critique you want to make…
Are you giving feedback to employees to make a change?
Look, you can’t be emotional if you ever want to develop top employees.
The criticism must be constructive for it to be worth talking about — and to be heard for that matter. I’ll go into exactly how to do that in just a moment.
FOR NOW, BE COGNIZANT OF YOUR TONE IN THESE REVIEWS AND CHECK YOUR OTHER BAGGAGE AT THE DOOR.
Don’t take it out on your team member who was five minutes late because you fought with your wife.
Of course, you have to address issues like tardiness as a business owner. However, there is a certain way to go about it without setting everyone on edge…
Checklist for Effectively Giving Feedback to Employees
I believe that having a strong company culture is the backbone of my businesses’ success. That being said, not everyone is going to latch on to it right out of the gate.
SO, YOU MUST LEAD BY EXAMPLE.
This is even more important for those of you managing remote employees. That is because there is more temptation to relax the rules in that work environment.
If you’re not holding yourself to the same standards as you’re entire team, your input will fall on deaf ears.
Remember that as we go through these tips for giving constructive employee feedback…
Don’t Wait to Say Something
The first tip I have on this topic is not to be afraid to check people right away.
To start, speaking up immediately should keep this negative behavior from persisting. Also, it makes the message much more potent in real time…
Waiting for the next time someone makes a mistake to correct them sends a message. And that message is that it’s not a big deal.
When you say something immediately, you will be taken more seriously.
Stick to the Facts
When you’re giving feedback to employees, it is not the time to alter the truth…
FOR BETTER OR WORSE.
When you minimize or maximize what happened, it creates a situation where you cannot be trusted. The other person, as well as you, knows that’s not reality.
In the best-case scenario, the staff member thinks you have bad data. But, it also may result in this person losing confidence in you or the company’s mission.
For that reason, stick to the who, what, when, and where when giving criticism.
Clearly Outline Policies
This step is something you should have done before ever starting a business. Yet, it is technically a part of the feedback process.
I am talking about the regulations of your organization.
At a minimum, every company should have:
- Rules of Conduct
- Dress Code
- Attendance Policies
- An Escalating Degree of Consequences
On top of that, team members should be given printed copies of all of these guidelines to have on hand. This eliminates confusion for everyone in your company.
Additionally, it diffuses resistance you could get from feedback on employee performance. They can’t really argue what’s there in black and white.
However, all these nicely put-together protocols are useless if you don’t enforce them uniformly…
Hold Everyone to the Same Standards
Nothing is worse for your authority as a leader than perceived favoritism. Because of this, there must be equal treatment concerning your employees’ consequences.
For instance, my sales team has a rigid policy about being late.
The first time a new hire is late, they receive a verbal warning…
The second occurrence results in being written up…
If that person does it a third time, they are let go from the company…
That may seem too strict for some of you, but I take marketplace hours seriously. Further, this rule applies to everyone and is enforced religiously.
And, guess what? I don’t have a major issue with lateness…
EVEN WITH OVER 200 EMPLOYEES!
So, make sure what applies to one, applies to all with your evaluations.
Be Specific, Not Generic
Another tip for giving feedback to employees is to not speak in generalities when talking.
INSTEAD OF SAYING “YOU ALWAYS DO X,” PHRASE IT AS, “ON JULY 5TH WHEN YOU DID X.”
This draws their attention to specific instances where there was an error. Then, hindsight allows them to pinpoint what they could have done differently.
Generalities create defensiveness from the other party. After all, they don’t want to believe they are constantly making mistakes or are at fault.
Details matter. You should also take that same idea into the next tip…
Describe Instead of Criticize
The concept behind the following suggestion is similar to the one above insofar as it involves details. When you’re giving feedback, it’s easy to sound critical…
But, a better approach is to explain the consequences of this person’s actions.
Sometimes, people think their role or their mistakes are inconsequential. However, describing how their actions make an impact on the organization can wake them up.
This can turn an average performer into a great one. Because all of a sudden, they feel responsibility and purpose.
And, that goes hand-in-hand with this piece of advice…
Allow them to Win
We touched on this earlier in the article, but it is worth reinforcing…
AT THE END OF EVERY ONE-ON-ONE, THE EMPLOYEE SHOULD HAVE ENOUGH INFORMATION TO IMPROVE AND SUCCEED IN THEIR ROLE.
Essentially, improvement and help should be at the heart of all the feedback you give.
Ultimately, your team doing their jobs competently allows you to do what you do best. Not only that but helping others win and succeed is good for more than just your bottom line.
Nonetheless, you want them to remember everything you just discussed as well.
Give Feedback to Employees Verbally and in WRITING
My last tip on this subject is short but extremely useful…
After you sit down with a staff member and give them their marching orders, send them an email with what you discussed.
Let’s be honest here. Nine times out of ten, people are so shaken when talking to their boss in person that they blank out…
For that reason, send them a short message describing professional development expectations.
In line with the previous section, this helps them and you. There is one last little problem…
What do you do when your feedback conversation hits all these criteria, but the employee is still defensive?
Questions to Overcome Resistance when Giving Feedback to Employees
So you are with a teammate and things are getting tense. It happens — even when you go in there with the best of intentions.
Still, I want you to look at it from their point of view…
YOU’VE PROBABLY BEEN DOING MOST OF THE TALKING.
And for you to help this employee move forward, there are some questions you can ask to open the dialogue.
- “What are you running into?” There may be obstacles you might need to help them with to hit milestones.
- “Are the goals or purpose of your role clear?” The poor guy may not even know what was expected in the first place! Use this as an opportunity to clear that up.
- “Is there anything you feel could improve X?” As a business owner, you may not have the full picture of a certain department — technical jobs, for example. Allow specialists to help you put the puzzle together.
These questions are great for easing tensions and educating employees and yourself.
Equipping yourself with all these tools can ease the burden when giving feedback to employees. Despite that, it can’t do all the work for you…
Strengthening Your Entrepreneurial Muscle
Giving effective feedback to employees is just one part of building a great business.
THEN, SOMEHOW YOU HAVE TO BALANCE THAT WILL EVERYTHING ELSE.
There’s still creating revenue…
Promoting your products and services…
Partnering with other companies…
And, then there is the matter of expansion.
I know how hard it is — yet I’ve made it happen seven times. For that reason, I’ve put all my best strategies together in the Unbreakable Business System.
You can check it out here.
Nonetheless, average people don’t know how much courage it takes to be an entrepreneur. The fact you are here shows me already how big a thinker you are.
Keep it up and be great.
— Grant Cardone
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