Stephen called to share that every time he gave performance feedback to one of his employees, she started crying. He had tried to keep a box of tissues in the room, stepped out to let her compose herself, and started the conversation with praise. Nothing seemed to work.
Here are the tips I shared with Stephen for giving constructive feedback:
- Give feedback in private
- Open conversation by indicating this is a coaching conversation, to prepare the employee
- We need to discuss . . . .
- Recently I’ve noticed you struggle with . . .
- It’s come to my attention that . . . .
- Deal with one issue at a time, be specific, truthful and offer credible feedback
- Give feedback immediately, use I statements – I observed. . . .
- Make sure the employee is ready to receive the feedback
- Motivate the employee to want to change their behavior to get different results – how does the change benefit them?
- Treat them professionally with dignity and respect
- Explain your performance expectations
- Give suggestions to improve performance
- Don’t communicate in anger
- Confirm understanding and allow time for the employee to ask questions
In honor of the craft breweries in Colorado, I developed the BEER Coaching Model which managers can use to successfully deliver performance feedback:
B = Behavior you observed, briefly describe it and be specific
Hear their story and allow them to explain their positive intentions
E = Explore Options for Improvement
Share how the change in behavior or performance benefits them
E = Engage employee in solution
What can we do so this doesn’t happen again?
How can I help you?
R = Results! Or Review solution, Refocus behavior and Re-launch new performance
The BEER Coaching Model provides results in changing behavior and improving performance. What additional tips do you have for improving your employee performance coaching conversations?