Constructive Criticism. #NewToHR

Constructive Criticism

Critiques are essential to growth. They are what help us learn from our mistakes, allowing us to do much better on future tasks.

There is also nothing more humans love than to critique others, but there is a vast divide between healthy criticism and noise!

As a leader tasked with teaching employees, knowing how to critique is an essential skill, yet not everyone truly understands the difference between the good and the bad. Next time you meet with someone to go over their performance, evaluate your own method of evaluation!

Judge the problem, not the person.

This is very important, especially if you do not get along with the employee. How they act has nothing to do with their quality of work and combining the two is extremely unfair. In discussions, always use “I” instead of “you” to maintain neutrality. As soon as “you” is used, the employee will feel threatened and will become defensive. Explain why there is an issue – in a factual way. Often times the mistake is not intentional and placing blame will only create resentment.

Once you have explained why there is an issue, ask for their input. During this conversation, you will be exposed to their thought processes. Do not judge. Simply take in the facts calmly. If they begin with a judgmental tone, stop him/her and start again once the individual has calmed down.

Locate where there are any weaknesses in either training, direction or other aspects. If the mistake was not solely the fault of the individual, it is very important you know what next steps to take to prevent further occurrences.

Now that both sides are explained, have an open chat on the subject to work towards a solution.

If the employee has a question or failed to understand something, talk with them about it and clarify the specific points they bring up. Be sure to listen as well. They have insight as valuable as yours and are a great resource at finding weaknesses in policies and procedures.

Come up with plans to take to rectify all of the isolated problems.

Criticism does not have to be negative!

In fact, when properly performed, it is a strong motivational tool that allows employees to develop and keep growing.

Mistakes will always happen, no matter how hard we try to hide ourselves from them. When they do occur, the most detrimental thing that can be done is to simply slap the wrist and move on. Only by talking and using the event as a teaching tool can you truly see who is the hidden talent amongst the employees.

© New To HR


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