How to make your team better… without making them hate you » SMEInsider

How to make your team better… without making them hate you

Learning and improving is a huge part of job satisfaction and a motivated team that wants to be the best can be your company’s greatest asset. Fail to get them on side, though, and you’re fighting an uphill battle.

Here are the top five ways that you can use feedback to inspire your team – not to alienate them.

1. Don’t just focus on the negatives

Feedback should inspire the other person to improve, not make them wallow in where they went wrong,” says Forbes. If you want to make your team feel valued and motivated, talk about the great things you’ve achieved together so far – then explain what needs to happen next to take you to the next level. Reminding your team that they have the skills and ability to do well will help them to feel empowered and confident in reaching their potential.

2. Pick great examples to inspire, not “wrong” ones to shame

When training your staff, it’s really important to give concrete examples of the issue you’re trying to address, but there’s nothing more demoralising for an employee than feeling that great work is overlooked whilst only the slip-ups gain notice. Instead of highlighting one person’s error and shaming them in front of their colleagues (or, worse, bosses!), try to pick a “best practice example” from someone who has executed the task perfectly, then break down what makes this a model case. If you can’t find one that perfectly illustrates your point, create an imaginary case study, or use one from a successful company that you’d like to emulate.

3. Listen to your team

Don’t make it a one-way conversation. When people feel that they are being unfairly criticised, or that their voices are not being heard, they may grudgingly make the basic changes you demand but will never go above and beyond to make the project a success.

The fact that you’ve hired someone presumably means that you have some faith in their judgement and abilities, so make sure you’re seeing things from their side, too. When you give feedback, make sure that your team members have the chance to explain why they’ve done things in a certain way and what support they feel they need to improve. Most importantly, invite their suggestions for making things better, too. If there’s a problem, the chances are that your team have spotted it too and they may well have great ideas for improvements that you’d never even thought of.

4. Talk like a team member

Choose your language carefully to avoid creating an “us and them” mentality, which will ultimately lead to your team doing the bare minimum and covering themselves to avoid criticism – hardly a healthy work dynamic. Talk about what “we can do” to improve, not “what you should be doing.” Point out ways that you, too, will also be making changes to make things better. Nothing raises heckles like being dictated to; make it sound like you’re blaming your team and they’ll become defensive, not motivated.

5. End on a high note

You want your team or employee to leave the feedback session bursting with enthusiasm and keen to put the changes in place, not crawling back to their desks to fume in silence. The last words to come out of your mouth should be unequivocally positive: thank and congratulate them once again for the work they’ve put in, and reiterate your confidence and excitement that it’s onwards and upwards from here.