Giving negative feedback constructively, help please

(7 Posts)
Bigwuss Sat 04-May-13 16:47:45

My new team member isn't settling very well and I have tried to manage the issues with lots of support from me, her peers, another mentor and specific additional training to respond to areas of weakness but she is slow to learn, very nervous of making mistakes and takes any slightly negative comment as if it is the end of the world. I have tried soft approaches whilst trying to be very supportive.
It is becoming a performance issue that I need to deal with as it is now effecting the rest of the team.
I have tried being very factual which is how we got to specific areas for additional support, but she did take it quite badly and got very upset.
How do I move forward without making it any worse?

WipsGlitter Sat 04-May-13 16:49:50

I have absolutely no advice but am watching as I have a similar employee. She's been there way longer than me and knows loads but has zero initiative which pisses our boss off no end.

Bearandcub Sat 04-May-13 16:53:49

Well you could explain that what you are doing is helpful and supportive and make it clear, the next options might be Capability Procedure or Disciplinary.

The bottom line is as long as you are being fair about it and kind/ pleasant in your tone and approach, the emotional aspects are hers to deal with.

Disclaimer - PMT so everyone's a fucker.

acrabadabra Sat 04-May-13 17:17:48

Give her the 'shit sandwich' talk.

Two things she's good at even if it's just wooly stuff like timekeeping and being flexible, with what she has to work on in the middle. Keep the most positive thing to last to build her back up after.

So glad I am not a manager anymore. Hate these conversations. Good luck.

Champagnebubble Sat 04-May-13 19:11:49

As a manager...and I work in HR...you just have to say it as it is, sensitively by firmly so she knows where the issues lie. If she gets upset just be sympathetic and tell her that you aren't looking to take her down the disciplinary route (yet) and you will fully support her to improve, but you need improvement. If you have a Company Performance Improvement Plan template then you could find it would be useful and focuses the mind, but as long as you hold regular meetings, document your expectations, things she's done well in and things not so well and go from there (i.e. on the plan or by email) over the next few weeks and just be realistic but firm - be fair about the good things and praise improvement but honest where there isn't any - and describe what 'good' looks like so she knows where to aim - that's all a perf improvement plan will do (prior to next step - disciplinary!). It isn't nice, but see it as though you are helping her (of which you will be) - she may turn it around with your support so it's a win-win situation. I've had to manage a member of my team out through this method so I can hand on heart tell you it's not nice, but the individual went on to a different job as despite support her heart wasn't in it - and there were no hard feelings. I regularly have managers coming to me once they are at the end of their tether, so the key is facing the situation as soon as it is recognised. Good luck.

Bigwuss Mon 06-May-13 12:05:50

Thanks, I've already moved onto documented targets, but from a confidence point of view it really hasn't helped.
I look at all the bullying threads on here and do worry from her perspective it feels harsh as it isn't because a lack of effort on her part. But from a business perspective it is the right thing to do.

WorrySighWorrySigh Mon 06-May-13 16:27:08

From the opposite perspective - I am a new employee struggling to make my boss happy with my performance here are some thoughts:

- praise her for what she does well - even if this is part of the job eg 'I was pleased with the way you dealt with X, Y, Z however I feel that you werent accurate/neat/whatever enough when you did A, B, C. You can do it when you are carrying out X, Y, Z, what is the problem in A, B, C?'

- are your expectations realistic? Have you tried detailing the job to someone else who doesnt know it?

- have you given her a methodology to allow her to check her own work? Are you giving her time to check her own work?

- is she getting paralysed by nerves? If you are nervous of getting it wrong yet again you can find yourself locked in a loop of doing and redoing the same piece of work.

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