Cactus with many thorns, represents how complicated it can be to communicate negative results

November 19, 2017

How to report a negative result

You're one of those exceptional managers that every team member wishes for, and you're torn between celebrating your employees' successes with a confetti cannon or conducting a comprehensive 360º Feedback process. However, sometimes, you have to get down to business because sweeping up confetti can be quite tedious.
In your organization, you've introduced an evaluation process that has brought about increased transparency, openness, and communication within the team. This has created a remarkable opportunity for improvement and enhanced competitiveness. However, in every good story, there's a 'but.' The time has come to provide feedback to your team members, and apart from acknowledging their achievements, you must also address the weaknesses highlighted in the reports. Discussing negative results is something no one enjoys. Even from the perspective of managers or supervisors, giving negative feedback can be challenging, especially in an organizational culture that values positivity and a good atmosphere

Indeed, there are employees who still harbor fear of feedback, particularly negative feedback. Hearing criticism about our performance can be demotivating, and it's challenging not to become defensive or descend into a mental abyss where voracious monsters lurk. However, as the song goes, "I'll kill monsters for you". In this case, HRider is here to assist you in effectively communicating negative results:

  • Document feedback with reports:
    It is crucial to document the feedback you provide. To achieve this, the most efficient and cost-effective approach for your organization is to implement a Performance Evaluation for your entire team or specific departments you wish to evaluate.
    With HRider, you can launch an Evaluation in a matter of seconds and generate comprehensive reports featuring individual and organizational results with a single click. Simply create a model - or as many as necessary for different job positions - specifying the skills you want to evaluate. Assign these models to each position, create the evaluation, and activate it. The survey will be ready and delivered to your mailbox. This straightforward yet effective process assures employees that the feedback they receive is rooted in objective data rather than personal assessments.

    In this simple but effective way, employees will know that the comments they receive are based on objective data and not the result of personal assessments.
  • Prepare for the meeting:
    The Performance Evaluation review is a crucial meeting that significantly impacts each employee's growth and the overall team's development.
    Regardless of the name you assign to these meetings (One to One, Feedback Meeting, Time to Talk), it is essential to thoroughly examine the individual's reports before the scheduled meeting. You should have a clear understanding of the areas that require discussion and how you intend to address them. During the meeting, it's vital to assess both the strengths and weaknesses of the employee's performance, discover opportunities to reinforce their strengths, identify skills for potential development, and determine areas where additional support may be needed.
  • Begin with positive feedback:

    The mere fact that an individual actively engages in an evaluation and improvement process reflects a commendable attitude. Starting by acknowledging the courage and commitment of employees who strive for growth rather than settling should be your initial approach.
    Before addressing areas of improvement with the employee, begin by highlighting their strengths. If you lead with discussing weaknesses, the positive feedback afterward may be undervalued. It's essential not to underestimate the impact of positive feedback.
    Additionally, elucidate how their excellent performance contributes to the organization's success. This awareness of the broader implications of their work can foster a deeper appreciation of their role and efforts.
  • Mind your language and inquire before making statements:

    In every aspect of work - and life - we must handle our words with care, and this is especially crucial when delivering a negative review. Leave aggressive language for the next season of Narcos.
    Always remember that this is a collaborative conversation between two professionals aiming to find constructive solutions, and the perspective of the person being evaluated is invaluable.
    Facilitate the discussion with questions like:
    "What actions can you take to enhance your performance in the upcoming months?"
    "Are there any tasks you're interested in but haven't had the chance to do?"
    "How can the company support you in your role?"
    "What objectives and improvement challenges can you include in your Action Plan to outline an enhancement strategy?"
            This approach can help maintain a positive and solution-oriented dialogue.
  • Don't make it public:
    The fundamental priority is that the employee leaves strengthened and motivated so that they can improve their performance. Talking about his weaknesses in front of his colleagues will make him insecure and not only will it not help, but the negativity in the office will spread irreparably. Respect confidentiality. Negative criticism always behind closed doors.

  • Consolidate the meeting with an Action Plan:
    Everything you have discussed to improve can be more productive if, in addition, you follow up on what has been agreed.
    Through the Action Plans, both the evaluated person and the supervisor can set objectives, marking tasks to achieve them, assigning expiration dates for follow-ups and being able to edit or review them whenever you want.

Still don't feel safe to communicate negative results? Do not be discouraged, at HRider we are ready to make you the Master of the Universe of Performance Evaluations; so if you need more tips on how to give negative feedback here you go another post from our wonderful team at Hrider with 10 quick tips for giving constructive feedback without getting hurt.