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Explaining the Negatives Positively – How to Talk About Work- Related Issues with Employees


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Everyone wants a carefree environment, one which is inclusive and joyful. However, no matter how friendly an atmosphere your workplace has, the end goal is still work. Hence, measuring work performance remains a top priority; it’s part of your job where no one protects you, not even your family-oriented boss.

When it comes to working, a manager puts their game face on; the goal is to evaluate, highlight the negatives, and praise the positives. One doesn’t resort to incivility or aggressive behavior in a corporate environment. In this blog, I explain how to highlight and warn employees about their negatives without being harsh.

  1. Hold A Meeting Behind Closed Doors- Maintain Privacy And Professionalism.  

The best way to highlight your employees’ shortcomings and performance issues is by meeting them behind closed doors; this is something many managers don’t do. Managers with a knack for bossiness usually ridicule their employees openly amongst their co-workers; this is not a professional attitude.

Ridiculing lowers self-esteem. Hence, feel guilty. The guilt translates into dissatisfaction, uncertainty, and frustration, which lowers productivity. If the behavior persists, it may also lead to absenteeism and resignations.

On the other hand, meetings behind closed doors make employees feel secure; they feel that their manager only wants to correct their errors rather than embarrass them. The system of closed-door meetings keeps the issue confidential, and employees remain in high spirits.

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Also Read: 6 Shocking Benefits Of Digital Onboarding Of New Recruits

  1. Hear The Employee’s Side Of The Story- Be A Good Judge  

You are the best judge when you hear both sides of the story. The same is the case when you evaluate employees’ performance. You may feel your employee is responsible; however, that’s not the case sometimes.

There are times when the workload could be more evenly distributed, which causes the employee to neglect other important tasks. Hence, the employee doesn’t complete the work, which causes a decline in performance.

In other instances, the employee may be having issues in their personal life; many employees fight personal battles they don’t mention to others. Personal issues remain at the back of their minds, distracting them from their tasks and leading to low performance. Hence, it’s good if employers keep checking their employees’ mental health.

  1. Don’t Go On The Offensive- Act Like  A Father Figure 

The worst thing you can do is get offensive; most managers feel that bashing employees or scolding them build pressure, which acts as an eye-opener and makes them work hard, but this is far from the truth. Employees don’t like being offended; it builds unnecessary pressure and makes them feel guilty.

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No one likes putting in 8 hours of their day and still being on the receiving end of a thrashing; it’s frustrating and demotivating. It’s not only demotivating, but as a manager, it damages your relationship with your subordinates.

The best way to do this is by maintaining your exposure and acting emotionally intelligent. Sometimes, employees act defensively; in this case, the best way is to act like a father figure and try to break that defensive state. It’s about telling the employee you’re not a friend but a well-wisher who looks forward to their grooming and professional growth.

Once the employees feel safe with you, they open up, and you can identify the underlying problem and guide them accordingly. Hence, never get offensive; try breaking the ice and finding a solution.

  1. Be A Mentor – Keep The Communication Two Way 

As a manager, your job is not only to highlight but also to give constructive feedback. Feedback provides employees guidance on how to improve their work. As a manager, your feedback may give them tips on how to do smart work, improve their work quality, and multitask.

On the other hand, if you feel that the angry boss approach will get you somewhere, you’re wrong. Employees need guidance rather than criticism, so they need guidance rather than being yelled at. Hence, guide your employees to achieve their goals, and be a mentor rather than a boss.

  1. Keep Update On Their Progress- Monitor And Measure 
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A doctor diagnoses, recommend,s and then keeps a follow-up. The same is the case with a manager; a manager addresses the performance issue, gives recommendations for improvement, and later takes an update.

When you take employee updates, you see how far the problem is fixed and what more needs to be addressed. Hence, when employees tell you about their progress, they also mention the resources they need and other problems they face. When a manager addresses their employee’s problems, it boosts their self-esteem and strengthens the bond between the manager and the subordinate.

Also Read: “We Are Family” – How To Promote A Family Like Culture In Your Office

  1. Don’t Beat About The Bush- Be Professional And To The Point 

The last thing employees like is discussing their virtues, accolades, and accomplishments. Therefore a little pep talk is a good motivation, but that doesn’t mean you keep rambling like a broken record.

Your employees are professionals like you; their time is important. Hence, ensure you get to the point and get over with the meeting. Don’t use complicated jargon; it only makes things worse. Structure our message in a way that communicates what you hope to achieve.

The Ending Note

Employees are humans first and employees later. They have their self-esteem, so dealing with them kindly is important. The best course is to deal professionally. Call employees to your office and hold a meeting behind closed doors.

When giving feedback, give constructive feedback with suggestions that help manage and improve work. In a nutshell, be civil while giving feedback or improving performance.

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Erum Ali
Erum Alihttps://mbeforyou.com/
She is a graduate of human resource management. She has several years of working experience in the human resource management sector. Currently, she is doing resource development and management for one of the leading fintech companies. Her role is to complement the recruitment process with strategic human resources consulting to promote long-lasting professional relationships.

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