- Do give concrete examples such as: “Your files are very disorganized. Last week when you were sick I could not find the information I needed to respond to an urgent question from a client. This reflected poorly on our company”. Or: “You did an excellent job on the financial report, the information provided was clearly presented and was very useful in our management meeting”.
- Do allow the employee time to express him or herself and provide an explanation if needed.
- Do explain what specific steps or actions the employee must take to improve their performance, for example: “I expect all client calls be responded to within 4 hours.”
- Do document any negative comments that are given, including any explanation received from the employee and the corrective action to be taken. Even if it’s not a formal written warning, a verbal conversation can be noted in an employee’s personnel file, or an e-mail can be sent to the employee afterwards summarizing the discussion.
- Do it at the right time and place. Schedule meetings in advance and in a private environment, free of possible interruptions. More importantly, allocate enough time for the discussion so that you are not rushed and everything is covered.
- Don’t use vague statements such as “your performance is poor” or “great job!”
- Don’t sugarcoat negative feedback. The employee may not get the message and the issue will seem less important. Get to the point, be frank and honest.
- Don’t use the philosophy of “no news is good news”. Employees want to know how they’re doing. If your organization does not have a formal performance review process, make sure to take the time to regularly provide feedback to your employees.
- Don’t wait! Whether the feedback is positive or negative, giving feedback on a timely basis increases its impact, and everyone’s memory is still fresh on the details.
Fall 2012 (download the PDF)