Feb 29, 2016 01:21 PM EST

How to Balance Constructive Feedback and Criticism in Employee Performance Evaluations

A Career Coach (L) reviews a job seeker's resume and interview skills during a Hiring Our Heroes job fair June 11, 2013, at the Washington, DC, Convention Center. The job fair was held in conjunction with the National Cable & Telecommunications Associaton's (NCTA) annual convention, The Cable Show 2013, and specifically was aimed at veterans, guardsmen, reservists, and spouses of the US military with dozens of telecommunications employers present. AFP PHOTO/Paul J. Richards (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
(Photo : Getty Images)

Even if the company has general rules and regulations which all employees must adhere to, when it comes to performance evaluations, the review must be tailored to the employee being evaluated.

Giving feedback and criticism must be customized to the needs of the individual employee in the hope of boosting and encouraging his career development.

There are important concepts that HR practitioners and employers should understand that could help tip the balance of constructive feedback and criticism in favor of the employee.

  • The performance review must be future-looking and not looking-back.

HR managers should be future-oriented since this is the best way help develop the skills and give the direction to the individual so that he could be a better team member that can help his team achieve greater results.

  • The performance review should not be a one-way street.

Each team member should also be given his time to evaluate their expectations about their team leader and the company. Although it may be difficult on the part of the employer to be evaluated by his team members, a lot of valuable information can be collected that will help the company push forward in pursuing its goals by eliminating the issues that hamper the team's success.

Giving effective constructive feedback and criticism can be done in several steps.

1.    Performance evaluations should be done in private. Everything should be recorded.

2.    Clearly state the reasons for the performance review to the employee before going on to his actual performance review.

3.    To avoid misunderstandings, clearly state your review point-by-point. Give the reasons in a clear manner why the evaluations are such.

4.    Before giving any constructive criticism, soften it first by an appropriate compliment in relation to the criticism.

5.    End the performance review with a closing compliment. This is designed to encourage the employee to continue doing the good things he has done, and to improve on the things that he lacks.

6.    Give him a timeline as to when he should show improvements.

7.    Now it's your time to listen to what your employee has to say about the company and its leaders.

8.    Follow up his performance, and give encouragement as necessary.

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