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Criticism at meetings: motivates or demotivates?

The question of how to punish an employee for mistakes, today all companies decide in different ways. Someone is trying to immerse the employee in an atmosphere of collective censure, someone is planning a “debriefing” behind closed doors. Correctly, with the least losses for the employee and with the greatest benefit for the business, criticizing subordinates is told by Konstantin Andreev, managing partner of Redday event

There are different opinions on this subject, but nevertheless, in recent years, business structures have moved away from a rigid management system that involves public censure, and try to adhere to the principle that it is necessary to praise in public, and criticize one-on-one, making sure that such the position gives more productive results, not even for the motivation of any particular employee, but for the work of the whole structure as a whole.

From my point of view, criticism at the meetings is acceptable, but in a very specific way.

There are two types of censure: constructive and destructive. Constructive involves analyzing errors exclusively on a professional level without switching to the personality and discrediting all the employee’s activities in this company due to some kind of flaw, while destructive, on the contrary, contains vague wordings and is based more on the emotional perception of the personal qualities of the employee, which is something did wrong.
Often this is accompanied by hanging labels: “stupid”, “optional”, “non-executive”, etc. For example: “Ivanov, why are you always so slow? There are some problems with you! ” etc. In this case, the analysis of a specific situation in which a person made a mistake does not occur. The employee does not get a clear understanding of what he did wrong at the moment, respectively, does not have the ability to analyze and eliminate his mistake, and the manager does not get the desired result. This is an unproductive vicious circle that breaks off at the moment when one of the opponents bursts with patience and the conflict leads to the termination of the employment relationship.

Instead, it would be logical to put it differently, for example: “We delayed the deadline for submitting documents, this led to such and such problems, which we will now solve together, for this we will need this and that” . At the same time, the person through whose fault the problem arose knows everything perfectly himself, he already experiences a feeling of guilt and is ready to make efforts to correct the situation. The next time, analyzing previous experience, he will try to prevent such a mistake, because he will need additional efforts to resolve the problem situation: he may lose some of his profit or have to work overtime. At the same time, everyone will benefit: both the manager, who will show himself as a confident professional, and the employee, who will not receive additional demotivation, but, on the contrary, will become more attentive to work.

According to business etiquette, destructive criticism is unacceptable in general, but we live in reality, where much does not correspond to how it should be. Constructive, without transition to personalities, especially personal qualities, is more than acceptable and even welcomed in many situations, because no one is safe from mistakes and shortcomings.

In general, reprimands on meetings and other “public flogging,” which, unfortunately, is still practiced in many labor collectives, is ineffective for at least two reasons:

The first is that if an employee made a mistake knowingly because of a negligent attitude to the process and abused the trust placed on him by the company, then no censure is important – public or not, this employee will not help and will not draw any conclusions. It simply needs to be accepted as a fact and say goodbye to such an employee, because further interaction in a confidential manner is not possible. At the same time, it makes no sense to express something to him.

The second – when an employee made a mistake out of ignorance, due to lack of experience. This is a completely different situation, but blaming it is also inappropriate, because the company did not teach its employee to prioritize and distinguish situations in which he can make decisions independently from those in which it is necessary to consult with more experienced colleagues. In addition, public censure causes a person to feel fear of possible failures in the future, which blocks in him not only creativity, but also motivation to work. This is especially important when it comes to creative teams whose activities are related to the flight of fantasy. Why are often the most breakthrough ideas found among young employees, perhaps those who have no experience at all?

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