As a supervisor, it's important to give regular feedback on the progress of your employees' performance so that they know their strengths and weaknesses, as well as areas for improvement. However, the manner in which you deliver your feedback could have a significant impact on whether your staff's performance improves as a result, continues at the same level, or declines because it is felt that your assessment is unjustified.
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Meet with your employee in a private location, like an office. Start your feedback session by discussing the organisation focus and goals for the future. Explain any new initiatives that you plan to embark on that the employee will find exciting and view as an opportunity to excel in the organisation.
Present the employee with details, information, statistics or reports that support the feedback that you will present in the meeting. Any serious performance issues in the past should not be a surprise to the employee, as management should have addressed them already, and given specific ways to improve.
Discuss any new issues of concern with the employee first. Give specific examples of situations that could have taken been handled differently. For instance, if the employee lost a sale because of a comment made on a recorded call with a potential client, point out the less than satisfactory behaviour and describe how it should have been handled. Do not criticise or make personal attacks---just state the facts, explain how the employee can improve and commit to being there to help in the future.
Follow up all negative feedback with positive suggestions. If you want to keep your employee engaged instead of alienated in the process, it's important to make sure that you do not simply attack with negative criticism. Offer valuable advice for how to correct those negative actions in order to gain improved performance going forward.
Describe the behaviours and activities of the employee that you respect and encourage. Highlight specific cases where the employee has exhibited exceptional work, if any. Emphasise that you want to see more examples of this level of work in the future, and, if possible, offer an incentive for showing continued improvement by the next review.
Wrap up the feedback session the same way you started it---by mentioning your company's priorities (short and long-term). To increase productivity, explain how the employee has a key role in helping the company reach those goals. Your positive statements will end the feedback session on a high note and encourage the employee to work at improved performance levels.
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