The Wall Street Journal reports that in the past employees could expect that "we would bring them in and beat them down a bit."
But now, managers are expected to "scrap the negative feedback" and "extol staffers strengths" (accentuate the positives).
Companies are realizing that negative feedback does "more harm than good."
- You tick off the employee and ruin any positive relationship and trust.
- The employee feels unappreciated, hurt, and in jeopardy.
- Employees project their hurt feelings and accuse you of being the problem.
- The deteriorating state makes them fear that you are working against them and they become unmotivated to try to do better.
- Instead, they spend their time working against you (and the company), and looking for another job.
There is an old saying that you don't sh*t where you eat, and so it is with employee performance evaluations.
In over 25 years, I have never seen negative employees reviews produce positive results!
However, I have seen that sincerely praising everyones' best efforts, leveraging their strengths, and being thankful for what each person contributes makes a high performing team where people are loyal, want to work, and contribute their best.
Everyone has weaknesses and problems, and frankly most people when they are being honest with themselves, know what their issues are. Pointing their face in it, doesn't help. (Have you ever told a fat person that they need to lose a few pounds?)
One idea that I did like from the Journal is called "feedforward," where you ask "employees to suggest ideas for their own improvement for the future."
This way each person can be introspective and growth as they mature and are ready, but not under threat, rather with support and encouragement. ;-)
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)