Effective performance evaluation is one of the most valuable tools in a job site supervisor’s toolbox. When an employee performs poorly, you want to provide effective feedback right away to avoid this behavior turning into a habit. Plus, providing feedback can help you track project progress, individual job growth and a trajectory for your company’s future goals.
However, giving negative feedback can often fill managers with anxiety and dread. No one likes the awkward confrontation of explaining to an employee why their performance is subpar – but it must be done. You can deliver poor feedback with respect by using the following tips.
Bookending with praise
Before conveying an employee’s poor performance, take the time to compliment something he or she does well. Take time to make it sound relevant and realistic; avoid going over the top, or the employee will feel that these remarks are superficial. Then, after you’ve conveyed the performance issues, be sure to close the conversation with a positive point. This may be another example of an area where the employee excels, or this may be an opportunity to compliment personality or soft skills.
Use concrete examples and documented evidence
Giving negative feedback will be easier for both you and the employee if you have concrete evidence to support your response. This will help the employee see exactly which areas need the most improvement. In addition, it also provides a paper trail of performance, so the employee knows that there is no room for opposing interpretations.
Provide steps for improvement.
When an employee has poor performance, it’s your job as a manager to help him or her improve. Give clear steps as to how this construction worker can improve their abilities. If your carpenter repeatedly leaves tools out, show him or her exactly how you expect tools to be put away. If several employees are safety liabilities, walk them through the correct procedures, and even test them on it later. If you have a laborer who consistently miss-measures or a heavy equipment operator that cannot hit the right mark, partner them up with a peer who excels in this area, and can respectfully teach them how to improve.
Criticize the performance, not the person.
Giving negative feedback is more than just a to-do list; it’s an open line of communication between management and employees, both temporary and permanent. It’s an opportunity to convey to your skilled laborers exactly what needs to be done to be a part of your team. Be honest and open; listen as much as you talk. Stay focused on the professional, not the person by:
- Providing specific ways employees can improve.
- Being upfront about areas of weakness. Don’t try to soften the blow or you may lessen the impact of the need for behavior change.
- Giving them a chance to self-evaluate and tell you how they would rate their own performance.
Hold regular performance reviews.
If you are providing regular feedback in a formal fashion, you can address poor performance situations before they become a serious issue. In order to truly understand how an individual employee’s performance impacts the overall job site function, managers and business owners must look at more than just poor performance. Regular reviews allow you to look at the employee as a whole – strengths and weaknesses – which can come across as more respectful.
Being respectful when providing negative feedback helps keep your employee’s morale from plummeting. Respect shows you want him or her to succeed. If your construction company is looking for higher quality, more dependable workers, the recruitment specialists at CCS Construction Staffing can help. Contact us today to learn more about our staffing solutions.