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How to Provide Feedback Without Insulting Your Workers

Tips for Providing Constructive Feedback that Does Not Insult, but Motivates the Employees:

1. Define the Job’s Goals Clearly.

In today’s business world, employees are much more empowered than in the past. However, the decision-making process or other changes can sometimes lead to mistakes. Initially, managers need to prepare and communicate the desirable outcomes, coach in times of change and react fast when mistakes come up. Constructive feedback is the tool to handle employees’ mistakes without insulting them, and it serves as employees’ motivation for improving decision making and results.

2. Prepare.

Research the facts and gather all information available. Make sure you know the person and all facts before you meet. Try to look behind the facts to better understand the other person’s point of view and motivation. Emphatically show the employee that you fully understand the situation from all angles.

“Try to SEE THINGS from the OTHER person’s POINT OF VIEW.”

3. Begin with Empathy and Appreciation.

Starting with understanding shows good will and mutual trust accumulated over time. Put the employee at ease by showing honest appreciation supported by evidence. Show an example

of great work done by the employee. Make a transition to constructive feedback using “and” rather than “but.”

4. Refer to the Mistake.

Address any situation as soon as it comes up. Focus on the problem, not on the person. Adopt the attitude and action you want the other person to exhibit. Speak quietly and calmly, and then it is likely the other person will do so in return. Communicate that the action was wrong, not the person who did it. Give the employee the chance to explain what happened. Listen to understand if the person is accepting responsibility.


5. Restore Performance.

The purpose is to remedy the problem and to reduce the chances of the problem happening again. The employee can be involved in problem analysis and the decision-making process. When an employee accepts responsibility, effective questioning, listening and coaching for corrective actions encourages them to suggest ways to correct the situation.

6. Provide Constructive Feedback.

Focus on the person. When acting inappropriately or making bad decisions, people lose confidence. Managers need to help the employee see the situation in a different context and reassure the employee of his or her value to the organization. Maintain motivation, engagement and empowerment to avoid discouragement. Assure the employee of his or her importance to the team and the organization. Keep your professional relationship warm and open.

7. Retain the Employee.

The employee knows now that the manager is committed to the employee’s success and growth. When a manager retains the employee, he or she wins the commitment and boosts the morale of the whole team. This builds trust and increases the level of communication and work ethic.

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