Have you ever wondered how to provide employee feedback in a constructive way?
Some sign shop owners out there might think that this is an easy question to answer. However, if you really sit down and think about it, you might discover that providing employee feedback the proper way can actually be somewhat complicated.
It isn’t always easy to have those one-on-one discussions with employees about their performances, their abilities to do their jobs correctly and up to the business’s standards.
That’s because these conversations can go quite positively if done correctly or negatively if the manager mishandles the review.
Yet, despite the difficulty of having these meetings, employee feedback is vital to the success of your business. Without feedback on their strengths and weaknesses, employees don’t know if they are doing a good or bad job.
Even the smallest piece of feedback can go a long way toward showing employees that you appreciate them and want to steer them in the right direction.
Sign shop owners have a lot to remember in upkeeping their stores, from maintaining their print shop software to overseeing accounts to managing employees.
Providing employee feedback is just as important as anything else, so shopVOX is going to highlight how to do it effectively.
Determine the Structure of Your Discussions
The first thing you should decide as the sign shop manager is how you are going to structure your employee-feedback conversations: one on one, two on one, or some other form.
Remember that, if you structure these as two-on-one conversations, with employees meeting with two managers, you should ensure the employees feel relaxed and not as though the managers are ganging up on them.
Start Off Easy
One great way to break the ice with employees in feedback meetings is to ask them some personal questions at the outset. You might consider asking:
“How’s everything at home?”
“How are some of your hobbies going?”
“What have you been up to lately?”
The point of this is to go beyond the standard employer-employee relationship and act like social human beings. Ideally, this kind of intro will make it easier to proceed with the discussion at hand.
Lead with the Positives
Once you get into the real meeting, you will want to start with the positives of the employee. Doing so can help you meet your goal of providing constructive feedback to the employee. Because you want your words to help the employee be better for your company, you should always begin with what the employee is doing right.
This is a great time to recognize and appreciate the employee’s efforts. It’s okay to save the more critical aspects of employees’ performances for later.
Discuss What Needs to Be Changed
Generally, as a manager, you need to give employee feedback because you want something looked at or changed.
So, now it is time to get into what you truly want this meeting to produce for you.
Plan for Incremental Changes
One crucial aspect of giving employees constructive criticism is that you should expect employees to implement any changes incrementally. You should typically not demand that employees change their behavior from “black” to “white” in an instant.
We’re talking about habits here, habits that may be deep-seated in employees’ psyches.
Human habits are difficult to break.
We can compare changing employee behavior to a smoker trying to quit. Smokers who attempt to quit smoking by immediately stopping may struggle to maintain their cessation. However, if they gradually reduce their consumption by smoking one fewer cigarette a day, that amounts to five or six fewer cigarettes a week and eventually a reduction of a whole pack, and so on.
This is a good comparison for getting employees to change negative habits in your sign shop. It is unreasonable for you to expect them to change their behavior overnight, but if you make a plan for them to change in 30, 60, or 90 days, you are more likely to see real results.
Focus Your Criticism
Here is one absolutely essential tip to remember about giving constructive criticism: you should never overload employees with all the negatives about their behavior at once.
This can be overwhelming for employees. This often leads to employees quitting or employers firing those employees because the change simply is not occurring fast enough.
Instead, it’s better to focus on one or two changes you’d like an employee to make. Doing it this way lets employers and employees plan to reconvene and check on the progress of the change.
Happy Employees Are an Investment in Your Sign Shop
Always remember that, no matter what the issue is, the point of these meetings is to encourage your employees to be better. Your employees need to know what their positives are, what they should be, and how you are going to help them to reach new heights.
Happy employees will go a long way for your company’s future. Upkeeping employer-employee relationships is an investment in everybody involved with your sign shop. The right kinds of feedback meetings ideally satisfy all parties, and successful businesses can run on that kind of employee engagement.
Reach out to shopVOX if you have questions on any way our sign shop software can help your store to be even better!