Not all fingers are created equal. Similarly, not all employees are equal at the workplace. Some are more motivated than others. But for the habitual slackers, it becomes necessary to criticize their performance to keep them on their toes. Now, as a manager you can be a complete jerk about this or you can use the following ways to criticize gracefully.
Do it in person
There are many ways to send your message across to an errant employee but nothing beats the old school method of doing it in person, face to face. This way you can also check for body language and expect a more frank conversation. As a manager, you also want to avoid unnecessary mail trail about your list of problems with the said employee.
Don't get emotional
Try to stay on top of your emotions. It is easy to get carried away in the heat of the moment but remember you are the boss for a reason. Losing your top will make you look weak and will dent your chances of communicating your message effectively.
Keep the talk professional
After a certain point in the conversation, the offending employee may give you some sloppy backstory to justify his actions or you may try to recall the good old days when you shared a healthy camaraderie. Don't fall for this trap as it will only lengthen the conversation and take you further away from any concrete steps to address the issue at hand.
Plan your points
In continuation to the above point it might be a good idea to simply write down your main complaint points and steer the conversation only along those. The more professional you are about it, the better it is for your position and image. You don't want to be known as a directionless and action-less boss after all.
Know why you are criticizing
Sometimes, you may be critical of an employee for personal reasons more than professional ones. Carefully evaluate why you are ticked off and have a clear idea in your head about what you need to be changed. After all, you can hardly criticize a co-worker simply because you don't like his citrus-scented perfume. On the other hand, if his perfume overpowers his presentations, you have a valid reason to pull him up.
Constructive criticism can be your best asset as a manager. But knowing when to use it is equally important.
By Priyanko Sarkar