Education

How to handle negative feedback (both giving and receiving)

You’ve done the work, you’ve started an employee engagement campaign and you are ready to take the necessary steps towards the health and success of your business. So what happens when you receive negative feedback as the result of your employee engagement surveys?

Despite your initial instinct to hide it away or ignore it, it is very important that you share these results with your team.

Why does hiding negative feedback harm engagement and productivity?

Hiding negative feedback might be the easier option in the short term, but you will have wasted all of the time and effort you have put in already. By creating a plan of action based on the negative results you have received, you can transform this perceived negative into positive results.

If you do not share this information with your team, you are purposely hiding valuable information from them, and they will feel suspicious, tricked or misled.

Negative feedback is important for any business

While you need positive feedback to steer you in the right direct, the negative side of this coin can actually be more valuable. It can help you to avoid mistakes and get out of destructive patterns and ways of doing things. By avoiding your employees’ critiques, your company will suffer and stagnate.

Tips and tricks for giving negative feedback

Both giving and receiving negative feedback is valuable for any business. Accepting negative feedback is one thing, but you will also need to be able to give negative feedback as well. Here are some valuable and useful tips that can help you do this in an effective manner.

  • Ask them to complete a self-assessment –A self assessment allows your employee to look at their own behaviour and performance and rate it according to their own opinions. This can be a valuable tool for you to go over together, highlighting where you agree and disagree.
  • Give them specific examples of the problem – If you are telling them about something that they have done wrong or incorrectly, you need to back it up with specific examples. They might not have viewed the incident the same way that you did, and this will allow you to talk about this and come to a solution.
  • Give feedback in private – It is always important to give negative feedback to your employees in private. Calling them out in front of other team members or including personal negative feedback in a company meeting is only a recipe for shame, anger and embarrassment – the complete opposite of positive engagement. If you want to increase your engagement levels, you need to resist this urge and always give feedback in private.

The benefits of talking through problems and issues

  • Build trust – Talking through the problems will help you to build trust and a long lasting working relationship.
  • Create a sense of honesty and openness – When people feel that they can express themselves completely, they are more likely to enjoy their workplace environment.
  • You will get honest feedback that you can action – If feedback is not honest it becomes completely invalid and useless.

By overcoming your aversion to both giving and receiving negative feedback, you can improve engagement and strengthen your business.

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