I am a Manager and I have to give a Negative Performance Review: What should I do?

Estimated reading time: 3 mins

As a manager, providing negative performance reviews can be an incredibly difficult task. It requires navigating the delicate balance of providing constructive criticism while also maintaining a positive, supportive environment. To ensure that the review process is effective and beneficial for everyone involved, it’s important to approach reviews with care and consideration. Here are some tips to help you give negative performance reviews.

Plan Ahead

Planning ahead is key when delivering a negative performance review. Having a clear idea of what you want to say beforehand will make it easier for you to stay on track during the conversation and ensure that nothing gets overlooked. When planning your review, think about the areas where the employee needs improvement and how they can address these issues going forward. Make sure you have evidence or examples to back up your points so that the employee has a better understanding of their shortcomings and how they can improve in future.

Set Goals

When giving a negative performance review, it’s essential that employees understand what is expected of them going forward. Take some time to discuss short-term goals that need to be achieved in order for them to get back on track with their work duties and responsibilities. These goals should be reasonable yet challenging enough for employees to feel motivated by them. Setting expectations from the outset gives employees something tangible to focus on which will help them stay motivated even if it feels like progress is slow at first.

Be Constructive

When giving feedback during a negative performance review, try your best not to focus solely on criticism without offering any solutions or suggestions as this could leave employees feeling demotivated or discouraged about their abilities as an employee or individual overall. Instead, provide constructive criticism that focuses on helping employees understand why certain behaviours are not successful and how they can adjust their approach in future in order remain productive members of staff who contribute positively towards achieving organisational goals. If appropriate, offer guidance or advice such as suggesting additional training opportunities or resources which may aid them in improving their skillset or knowledge base related to their role within the company as well as helpful tips for better managing tasks within set deadlines etcetera.

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Be Supportive

Negative performance reviews don’t always have to be purely focused on criticisms; they can also act as an opportunity for managers to show support and encouragement towards staff who are struggling with certain aspects of their job role or workloads etcetera. Offering kind words of encouragement throughout the process helps staff feel supported, rather than criticised, which ultimately creates an environment where employees feel valued and appreciated, despite any mistakes made along the way. Additionally, expressing your belief in an employee‘s ability can also inspire confidence boost morale, allowing them take ownership over making necessary changes needed succeed moving forward.

Encourage Open Discussion

An effective way of ensuring that both parties get most out of the process is to encourage open discussion between yourself and your employee, which allows the airing of grievances, raising of questions or concerns, whilst creating space to share ideas and new approaches, addressing any issues identified during the meeting. This type of dialogue maximises the chance of a resolution being reached between both sides, enabling you to move onto the next step of development as quickly possible, without resorting to confrontations resulting in tensions further down the line.

Follow Up & Evaluate Progress

Finally, follow up after the meeting to evaluate progress regularly and to ensure that any changes implemented are having the desired effect. Checking regularly provides insight into whether adjustments are needed to fine-tune objectives; to evaluate results and key measures; and to gauge the effectiveness of strategies employed, thus far. Additionally, follow ups allow the chance to communicate successes and encourage the employer further, keeping motivation levels high and to continue striving towards success, throughout the duration until project completion.

Overall giving negative performance reviews isn’t easy – but following these tips should help make process smoother and more beneficial to everyone involved, taking away some of the sting and criticism, and providing guidance to support the required successful outcome all round.

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