Present Criticism Effectively To Your Employees

Posted April 14, 2015

Offering criticism to your staff – or even a candidate interviewing for a position with your organization – is something all managers must handle professionally. Being able to show disapproval to your workers without making things personal is one of the traits that separates the best managers from those merely holding the title.


Framing criticism in a constructive manner helps your employees become better at their jobs, and also improves your company's overall efficiency as well as its bottom line. Let's take a closer look at how to make your point without being mean.


Frame Any Criticism Within Positive Reinforcement

Your staff will pay more attention to any criticism you offer when it is framed within positive reinforcement. This is a technique known as the Feedback Sandwich.

First, present the positive aspects of the situation to your employee. Follow that up by detailing some items that need to be improved. End the discussion by restating the original positivity combined with describing the superior results achieved from the employee taking the steps to correct the criticized points.

The Feedback Sandwich is a technique widely used in the corporate world. It is arguably popular because it offers workers a pathway to continuous improvement without overemphasizing personal negativity.

Don't Make Things Personal

When offering constructive criticism, it is important to focus more on the issues at hand instead of the employee responsible for said situation. If they've made disparaging comments about a co-worker, reprimand them on what they said – not on the person themselves. In short, you need to separate the person from their actions as best as you can.

Using a passive voice when offering this kind of criticism also helps to keep the focus off of the person and on the subject at hand. Most importantly – never make any personal attacks.

Be Specific Instead of General When Criticizing

Focus on specific issues and actions when offering criticism. Vague generalities only serve to confuse the situation and probably won't result in any improvement. Consider creating a bullet-pointed list that details the problems along with a plan of action to make things right.

Having a written or electronic copy of the problems along with the detailed steps to fix them provides the necessary documentation to stave off similar issues in the future. It also helps to prevent either hearsay or "he said, she said" scenarios from making the ultimate resolution more difficult.

If your company needs any additional insight for building a productive team at your office, talk to the knowledgeable staff at Ambassador Personnel. As one of the top full service staffing agencies in the country, Team Ambassador offers the business insight and vetted candidates able to make a positive difference in your organization. Schedule a meeting with us at your earliest convenience.