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Tim Millett
Published by Tim Millett
08 October 2013

Correcting an employee’s work is never easy, especially if they are sensitive about their performance and don’t take kindly to criticism. When confronted with this situation, you should keep in mind the following tips:

• Schedule a meeting: Setting up a meeting is the best way to avoid embarrassment. Being able to talk with the employee in private allows you to ask questions about a project task, sales meeting, or other work responsibilities.

Talking about poor work performance in front of other employees is unprofessional and can make everyone in the office upset.

• Be polite when bringing up the issue: Always remain professional when bringing up work performance issues. While you can be firm, you should not intimidate employees in any way. By asking questions confirm with the team member where the problem or mistake lies and ask them for ideas on how to address the situation. Taking a step by step approach to corrective feedback can increase objectivity:

o Identify the specific situation or task that needs to be addressed
o Identify the performance that did not meet expectations
o Highlight the potential result of this inappropriate performance
o Identify the desired alternative performance
o Highlight the potential result of this desired performance

By remaining calm and objective, you can prevent employees from making the same mistake again.

• Schedule a follow-up meeting: In order to prevent an issue from occurring again, you should monitor the employee’s performance and schedule a follow-up meeting. If the issue has been corrected, let the employee know they have made improvements. If not, question the employee and find out why they continue to make the same mistakes.

• Assign additional training: If you believe the issue can be corrected, assign additional training or mentoring so the employee can develop the skills required to meet performance expectations. Many times, additional training is all an employee needs in order to get back on track.

Unfortunately, many managers and team leaders do not take the time to find out why an employee has made an error at the workplace. By talking with the employee and trying to find solutions, you will be showing your employees that you care about their work performance and that you want them to succeed. As a result, they are more apt to come to you for advice, assistance, and voice any concerns they may have.

Creating a positive work environment begins when managers learn how to bring up issues that need to be addressed in a professional manner. Additional training, mentoring, and support can prevent employees from making the same mistakes twice.

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