How to criticize your employees without demotivating them


So kritisierst du deine Mitarbeiter, ohne sie zu demotivieren


10 Tips for managers


They are part of every manager’s everyday life: Critical discussions with employees. They are unavoidable and important for resolving factual differences or correcting undesirable behavior. But how can you, as a manager, offer criticism without demotivating your employees in the long term?


Follow these 10 tips in your next critical talk:


Tip 1:

Schedule an appointment: Give your employee a chance to get ready to talk to you. For example, say, “Can we talk briefly tomorrow morning at …? It’s about …

Tip 2:

Don’t wait too long: Think in advance about what exactly you want to say to the employee. However, don’t let too much time pass so that the incident is still relevant.

Tip 3:

Be objective: Don’t start the criticism discussion with your employee until you can describe the facts soberly and objectively. Have your emotions under control again.

Tip 4:

Speak plainly: Get to the point quickly. Explain to your employee quickly what the issue is and what exactly has disturbed or angered you.

Tip 5:

Give your employee the chance to speak up. Your employee must also be given the opportunity to describe the situation from their perception. Listen actively to your employee and do not interrupt them. Signal that you have understood his or her point of view. For example, by nodding your head or saying a brief “I understand“. Avoid commenting any excuses.

Tip 6:

Make your expectations clear: Make it clear to your employee what exactly you expect from them. Be specific about what changes in his or her behavior or situation are important to you in the future.

Tip 7:

Let your employee suggest a solution: Perhaps your co-worker has an idea for resolving the situation that both of you can live with. The motivation to achieve the goal will be much better if the suggestion comes from your employee himself. Suggestions for solutions on your part are only necessary if you fear that the employee’s idea is not goal-oriented.

Tip 8:

Come to a common result: Write down what exactly the result of the discussion is and what goals are to be pursued in the future. Make sure that the employee has understood everything in order to clear up any misunderstandings.

Tip 9:

Do not unnecessarily prolong the discussion: Make sure that the criticism discussion does not last longer than 10 minutes, as the situation is anything but pleasant for both parties.

Tip 10:

Make sure the outcome of the conversation is positive: Don’t leave without saying some words of appreciation to the employee. This can be praise or mentioning a good quality that sets this employee apart, such as “I want you to know that I really appreciate your creativity and am glad to have you on the team.”

If you follow these tips, chances are the conversation will have a constructive outcome and clear the way for the change you wanted to achieve. Good luck!

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