Tell Your Employees They Suck

Improving Employee Performance Through Feedback

My mother used to say, “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”  

She was talking about being a polite person in society. She was not talking about being a manager whose company depended on her to manage employees for the success of their business.

A manager needs to give their employees feedback. It’s the only way they’re going to improve. You can give them a spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down but ultimately you have to tell it to them straight: This is what’s wrong with your performance.

Okay, I’m being a bit facetious when I say tell them “This is what’s wrong with your performance,” you can say it nicer than that, the point is to not beat around the bush when an employee isn’t performing to your expectations.

2 Principle Components For Giving Employee Feedback

  1. Employee feedback should be constructive—meaning you should explain to them what they need to do to improve and why. If you don’t tell your employee what they aren’t doing right, how can you expect them to be the employee you want them to be? Unless they’re telepathic, (which would be so cool), they won’t know what they’re doing wrong until you tell them. And you need to tell them how they can do it better.
  2. Feedback should be done frequently. DO NOT wait until your company mandates it’s time for an annual performance review to tell your employee where they need improvement. Tell them immediately, or as soon as possible, when you notice issues with their work.

How To Give Employee Feedback

  1. Be Prepared

When I say be prepared, I mean prepare the conversation you’re going to have with your employee.

  • Write out the points you want to discuss.
  • Include notes with specific examples of the problem behaviors.
  • Order your points so that the most important points go first. This will help ensure that they’re paying attention.
  • Mix in some positive feedback, (what they’ve done well), so they don’t feel like complete failures.

You also need to prepare a date and time as well as a place to have the conversation. Pick a date and time where you won’t be taking the employee away from an urgent task. Choose a time of day when the employee is likely to have less occupying their mind. For instance, don’t have the meeting too close to the end of the day because their mind will be on going home.

  1. Schedule yourself enough time

Make sure to make space in your daily agenda for the meeting that allows you enough time to get through your points and gives the employee time to respond, ask questions and discuss your points.

  1. Be Human

Look at the situation from the employee’s point of view. Nobody likes to hear that they suck, (even if you don’t say those words exactly).

Imagine that you’re them: Can you feel your cheeks become flush as you fight back tears? Is your heart sinking? Do you feel terrible about yourself?

These are some, if not all, of the feelings your employee will experience when you give them feedback. Keep these in mind and have some compassion. Reassurances that you still value them and that they’re not in trouble may seem a bit like empty platitudes, (unless it’s true, in which case tell them A LOT), but it’s the spoonful of sugar we were talking about.

Most of all, try to remember that you want them to improve. Hiring is a lot of work, it’s a lot better to work on improving your current employee’s behavior than to go shopping for their replacement.


**Parts of this post first appeared on Herd**


Image: bigstock

3 Innovative Ways To Source New Talent

Getting the best staff is essential for businesses, whether you’re looking for a tech pro, a new manager, or even a secretary. Though you may know exactly who you need on your team, the best individuals are hard to find.

Attracting new talent is all about innovation. A cutting-edge recruitment strategy reflects a creative company, which in turn signals to potential candidates that this place has a good employee culture. These three innovative recruitment strategies are sure to get the right candidates through the door.

Social Networking

Social networking has become a necessary part of the hiring process. When it comes to sourcing new talent, LinkedIn is the big one. Nearly all graduates have uploaded their CV to LinkedIn, enabling employers to read through profiles and search for candidates in their niche. Over 1.9 million people connect with companies on LinkedIn making it a great site to network on. You can track job-hunters by searching for job-hunting keywords and targeting groups that have people relevant to your field.

Don’t just use the social networking sites that everyone has already heard of though. Innovative employees are also early adopters of new trends and using the latest sites. As well as the big name social media websites, there are specialist social media sites (such as Medium for writers and Doctors Hangout for doctors and medical students) that you can use to find a collection of candidates with specific skills.

Successfully sourcing talent on social media sites doesn’t just rely on your ability to search with the right keywords and approach potential employees with the right tact. You also need to have excellent, up-to-date social media accounts for your own company. People you connect with on these sites will be viewing your social media profiles, so make sure branding is strong and the updates reflect what a great employee culture your company has.

Niche Job Listings

Companies trying to recruit new talents have been using job listings for years, but they’re making one big mistake.

Many employers are signing up to the largest job boards, like Monster and Indeed. Those big name job boards may come with the largest candidate databases, but most of those candidates won’t be relevant for the position you’re looking to fill. Is getting your ad viewed a million times by the wrong people worth it? Probably not.

In this scenario, it’s much better to opt for a smaller, specialist job listings website to ensure your job ad targets the right people. There is a job site for nearly every niche these days, from Culintro for culinary jobs to Jobs4Medical for the healthcare industry. Experts have commented that niche job boards tend to result in applications from higher quality candidates with more relevant skill sets.

Viral Videos

If you want to go the extra mile, then a viral video is a great way to get excellent candidates and make sure that people are talking about your company at the same time.

Heineken got a lot of laughs with their latest video that showed real life applicants trying to talk their way into the job whilst the interviewer held their hand across the table. Viewers were invited to watch the video and vote for the best candidate, an excellent example of both content marketing and crowdsourcing the best results.

Even if you’re not planning on making a viral video, scraping those standard interview questions and opting for something a little more out of the box can be a great way for candidates to differentiate themselves. An old interviewer I knew liked to ask potential candidates to tell him what he had eaten for lunch, then judge from their reaction what percentage of their previous answers were lies. By challenging candidates to think on their feet, you’ll be able to see who has the right skills and abilities to work for your company.

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(About the Author: Ron Stewart has worked in the recruitment industry for 30 years, having owned companies in the IT, Construction and Medical sectors. He is currently running the Jobs4Group, and is CEO of Jobs4Medical. To connect with Ron, you can visit his website, follow him onTwitter @jobs4medical, like his Facebook page or connect with him on LinkedIn.)

photo credit: matt coats via photopin cc