Constructive criticism in the workplace is essential in a way that it helps individuals to improve, while making sure that the same mistakes will not happen again. It is an effective method of imparting a lesson, instead of making a person feel down, which is usually the case when a negative approach is taken. Here are good examples of constructive criticism in the workplace:
1. Giving Feedback on Even the Smallest Improvement
An employee who is struggling will certainly perform well at some point in his work, which means that there is always an opportunity to praise and encourage him to continue doing excellently. However, to turn commendation into constructive criticism, it should be focused on the particular work achieved or situation, and not on general behavior.
2. Doing It Like a Coach
As a coach, your primary role would be to assess a person’s performance and then help him with discovering ways to make improvements. You can do this by asking the right questions, which is also a good strategy to be used in giving constructive feedback. You see, this can help foster an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect in the office, which will lead to healthy and productive relationships.
3. Asking for Solutions
If you are just pointing out errors and problems, then you are giving absolute criticism, which is not likely to help any given situation. This will not only make the subject employee feel bad about himself and his job, but will de-motivate him as well. Now, to make your feedback constructive, you can point out the problem, but do not forget to ask for reasons why it arose. Also, ask if he has any idea for a more effective solution or a better approach to the issue and try to avoid imposing a solution, as the objective here is to draw out great ideas by asking the right questions.
4. Using Encouragement in Addressing Mistakes
If one of your employees has submitted to you a report with some typos, do not just criticize the errors, hand it back and demand to have it fixed, but try to work on finding something positive in the situation. For example, you can point out a time when he was able to make corrections quickly and commend him for it. You can also mention that you are confident of his ability to fix the problem. By starting in a positive way, you will also be able to reach a positive outcome.
5. Seeking Permission Before Giving Feedback
By seeking permission to give feedback, you can help an employee prepare himself to receive constructed advice. Also, this will put his mind at ease, especially because he knows that he is not being reprimanded, and will open opportunities to receive input from him.
Lastly, remember that giving constructive criticism should be a two-way street, where the critic and the criticized should interact. While the critic must invite criticism of his own behavior and provide feedback in the most appropriate manner, the criticized must also keep an open mind and see the value of the information given.
Keith Miller has over 25 years of experience as a CEO and serial entrepreneur. As an entrepreneur, he has founded several multi-million dollar companies. As a writer, Keith's work has been mentioned in CIO Magazine, Workable, BizTech, and The Charlotte Observer. If you have any questions about the content of this blog post, then please send our content editing team a message here.