Are These Feedback Problems Holding You Back?

Managing employees can be really challenging - but what is normal and acceptable behavior from your employees? People aren’t perfect, but where is the line that you should draw as a manager - are your staff normal or are they under performing?

What are the signs of ineffective performance communication?

In order to help you answer that question I have some “symptoms” listed below. Don’t worry - I’m not a doctor diagnosing you for a socially unacceptable disease - these are extremely common indicators that many managers experience. You don’t have to go through the whole list, as soon as you recognize 3 as being not uncommon to your life as a manager you can skip to the next paragraph:

  1. Feeling that your employees don’t put in enough effort, or take due care and attention making multiple obvious mistakes. Feeling that you are always finding and fixing mistakes: AKA Work quality issues

  2. Feeling that your staff have a low level of output and often miss deadlines. AKA work volume issues

  3. Your employees blaming other people or external factors when their isn’t done or is poor. AKA lack of accountability and pushback

  4. Your employees not fixing their own problems and coming to you to fix issues that you feel they could’ve fixed themselves AKA Lack of ownership

  5. When having staff performance discussions with your staff, feeling that you spend a lot of time coming up for solutions to their problems AKA more Lack of Ownership

  6. Feeling that your employees don’t listen to you - you talk to them about their performance but they don’t get any better. AKA ineffective feedback

  7. Performance conversations being an unpleasant affair - taking up a lot of time or being awkward. Or worse degenerating into conflict or upset employees. AKA Time consuming feedback

  8. Having Performance conversations with your employees less than several times a week

  9. Feeling that your employees are just chugging along meeting standards but not getting better or faster AKA Failure to improve

Signs of underperformance are a sign of performance improvement opportunity

These are indicators of an employee performance problem. If you experience 3 or more of these on a fairly regular basis then your employees are most definitely performing significantly lower than they could be performing. But this is actually extremely good news because a small improvement to employee performance will give you:

  • Less manager stress
  • Less of your time spent managing your staff
  • Less time spent compensating for the lower performance of your staff

The increased performance also goes directly to company profitability. There are few things that improve profits like improved employee performance.

Improving employee performance through Inspiring performance communications

So what is the solution? How do you improve employee performance? There are a lot of proven methods to improve employee engagement. The above questions are focussed around one particular performance improvement technique. The technique is using a particular form of performance feedback called Inspiring Performance Communication.

Performance management can be unpleasant

Your employees don’t want feedback - just think how they feel when you say “Can I give you some feedback”. Your employees don’t want to be called in for performance discussions. Those so called “come-to-Jesus” meetings are extremely unpleasant for the employee. And personally I don’t like them either. Traditional performance discussions take way too long and seldom have the results you want. Successful bosses know how to communicate to their employees in a way that employees listen to what the boss says. And the message needs to be highly motivational so that the employee takes ownership of the message. As a boss if you recognize these signs of poor performance. And if you find performance management unpleasant or ineffective then I encourage you to ditch the feedback and try inspiring performance communications instead.

“At the heart of it missed deadlines, low quality work etc. are performance problems. Performance problems are addressed with performance feedback”

Tip: Regular one-on-one meetings with your staff ensure good communications and pre-empt problems. They're also a good forum for giving Inspiring Performance Communication. To find out how to have effective, high-quality one-on-ones with your employees, register for the free one-on-ones mini-course:


What's your experience with employee performance feedback? Do you have any questions, comments or tips? Help the rest of us out by sharing in the comments below.

Boss Camp

I bet your staff would rather be at the beach than working hard. But you’re the poor boss who’s responsible for their work. Managing is hard. Find out how to make managing easy at WWW.BOSS.CAMP. The program includes topics such as:

  • How to hire for performance,
  • How to motivate employees,
  • What are bad employee motivators,
  • What you must do as a manager but isn't on your job description,
  • How leaders get power.