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How do you communicate negative feedback in the workplace? Talking to your employees about performance can be a very touchy subject.. Nobody like to get criticism, but we all need direction to continue to get better at our jobs. So how do you critique employees?
In this video Eric Siu shares his top advice for how to communicate with employees. Communication tip number one: use ongoing feedback and a tool like 15 Five to help with this. Communication tip two: don't forget to listen to their problems first. It gets much easier to give feedback when you stop to listen.
You can also set goals together to help the conversation move in the right direction. You can call them OKRs and KPIs.
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Full Transcript of The Video
This is tough, right? When you hire people, it's going to happen every single time. You're going to have to give negative feedback and some people don't take well to negative feedbacks.
What I like doing is ongoing feedback. That starts with one-on-ones first. Every single week, there's a one-on-one. You need to focus on them first. What are their problems? The one-on-ones are not about you, the manager or the CEO, whatever you're doing exactly. It's about them. Listen to what their problems are first and then sure, you can have an agenda. If they don't have anything to talk about, then it becomes, you can talk about things on your list. It's always important to think about what they have first and then that way, you're constantly having conversations with them and then you're also giving them feedback too. The feedback's ongoing. You don't just wait 90 days for a performance review.
The second one is using a tool like 15Five performance management tool. They call it 15Five because takes the people that are reporting to you 15 minutes to fill out, it takes you five minutes to review and give feedback on it. 15Five is great because it shows how people are feeling. It asks them specific questions. It allows you to high hive other people, and it also has a dashboard showing how people are feeling over time too. It's good because you can read in between the lines.
Let's say someone keeps filling out a five every single week, but you can see their feedback is just becoming like shorter sentences, one word sentences, you can read between the lines and you can see if there's something wrong there. You can catch things. Then also, when they talk about things, that's when you can start to say, "Okay, here's where I want to talk about ... I want to talk about this specifically in our one-on-one next week." It kind of precursors the one-on-one and sets the agenda for that.
You start to give ongoing feedback to people and use 15Five to set the stage. That's helpful because nobody's going to be caught off by surprises. Make sure you're also documenting this too, whether it's through a project management tool. You put in 15Five as private comments, but you're constantly giving this feedback so they're aware of what's going on.
The third thing is setting goals for people too. When people have a goal, when they know what they're aiming for, when they wake up in the morning, they know, "Okay, here's where we need to go." Noah, for example, that's helping record this right now, we've got to get to 50,000 YouTube subscribers. "How do we do that?" Well, if you're asking every single week, it's like, "Noah, it seems like we're kind of off here. What are we going to do to get there?" If it seems like people are saying the same thing over and over, you got to have a serious conversation around that to figure out, "Hey we've been doing this, but it doesn't seem to be working. What can we do?"
That way, people are aligned and people know where they're going. Because again, you don't want to catch people off guard, so you got to have goals that are specifically set-up and people know what they're aiming for. You can call them OKRs, objectives and key results. You can have KPIs, key performance indicators and then specific goals they need to hit within that quarter or that year.
The final thing I'll say about this for now is, let's say you want to promote somebody. You know for sure you're going to have this role available in a year or two years or so, it's important to talk about, "Okay, here's what you're doing right now. You're doing all these great things and then you're in this role right now. You want to go to this role. Let's say you want to become a VP, here's where we need you to be. Here's the things that we need you to be doing in order for you to get there." Because if they're constantly doing the same thing and they've been with you for awhile, they're going to have this expectation that they should be there. But if they're not doing what they need to do to become a VP or a Director, they don't deserve to be in that role. You need to make that crystal clear. "Here's where you're at right now. Here's where you need to be." Then you need to establish that, "Hey, if we can see this in the next year, you're going to be here."
It's important for them to understand that if they can't hit these things by next year, they're doing the same thing over and over and they wonder why they're not there and you had to hire someone else above them, well, okay, you've defined that. It's important that you have that tough conversation and just ongoing feedback, good conversations, good relationships with people.
I think the problem with a lot of managers is they don't build trust with their direct reports. You don't build trust when you don't have a relationship with them, things go bad. I'm very guilty of this. I've done this when I was reporting to other people and when people are reporting to me as well. You got to think about building a relationship too. You got to build that rapport at the same time. That's how it's easy for you to have negative ... to be able to give negative feedback and also be able to receive negative feedback.
For me, I love negative feedback. I'm okay with it. But not everybody is. It depends on the personality, so you got to think about the personality too. So, if you enjoyed this video, you want more videos on how to grow your business, you want more videos on how to hire great people, just hit subscribe. I'll see you on the next one.
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