When it comes to correcting employee behavior, it’s not what you say, but how you say it. Employees in today’s healthcare world don’t just want paychecks; they also want the respect of their leaders. Therefore, it’s important to communicate feedback in a way that gets to the point but doesn’t discourage the employee. Even when you’re providing critical feedback, you don’t want to risk harming the relationships you’ve established with your team. It’s important to engage with your employees and build a culture of open communication in which feedback can be expressed in a positive, two-way manner.
Understanding how to build trust and transparency among your team is the first step in correcting employee behavior while building employee loyalty. According to successful entrepreneur Richard Branson, “Your employees are your company’s real competitive advantage. They’re the ones making the magic happen – so long as their needs are being met.”
As employee retention becomes a significant concern for many organizations, there is a lot of truth to this logic. Here are five strategies to help you provide feedback in a way that enhances employee relationships and builds a loyal workforce.
Be committed to staff development.
Your employees require training and development to consistently maintain their skills. Part of providing effective and constructive feedback involves giving employees the opportunity to grow and learn within your organization. For example, some of your employees may need to improve their soft skills, like communication or emotional intelligence. In addition to providing them with useful feedback, give them the tools and guidance to learn and gain the skills they need to improve in the area you’re discussing.
Seek opportunities to give positive feedback.
Do you only give feedback when employees exhibit negative behavior? To build strong relationships with employees, you should make a habit of providing positive feedback. Spend some time observing your employees and look for opportunities to praise them for a job well done. Even small accomplishments are deserving of praise – don’t underestimate the power of a simple compliment or recognition. Most employees, no matter their role, appreciate positive feedback for their efforts.
Allow employees to make decisions.
Employees grow the most when they are given the freedom to make choices. According to an article in Entrepreneur, you can inspire loyalty by giving your team a sense of freedom and control.
After giving employees feedback, provide time for them to reflect on their behavior and make changes in their performance at their own pace. Many employee resent being micromanaged, so it’s best to empower them with the knowledge and insight they need to adjust their workplace behavior.
It can be difficult to give your team the autonomy to make decisions for fear of them making the wrong one. Trust your guidance and give them practice to get it right. Not only can this improve performance, but it can also show employees that you trust them to make the right choices moving forward.
Set the right example.
As noted in an article by the Harvard Business Review, one of the main principles of leading with loyalty is to “preach what you practice.” Actions are stronger than words, particularly in the case of trying to correct employee behavior. The actions taken by your leadership team can significantly influence how employees perceive your criticism.
It’s important to exemplify a high ethical standard in every leadership decision to encourage employees to do the same. Respected leaders consistently set the standard for your organization with their actions and decisions – inspiring and motivating their team to always carry out ethical practices.
Provide support through social communities.
It’s easy to forget that employees don’t just learn from their managers—they learn from each other too. One of the most effective ways to help your employees build strong relationships is to engage them in activities beyond their jobs. You can build comradery within your organization by creating a culture that values fun as much as it values work, such as offering monthly happy hours, lunch-and-learns, community service outings, and fun workplace activities.
Encouraging your employees to engage with one another will demonstrate a commitment to their growth and allow them to learn from each other – without the pressures of formal feedback or evaluations. Promoting cross-functional interactions also assists employees in understanding how their work impacts those across the organization. Employees are more committed when they feel their work matters, and getting to know different operating units can really help them understand how they are part of something much larger than the single function they perform.
Despite what many people think, you can correct employee behavior without creating a negative experience for that employee. When done correctly, feedback can benefit your organization’s culture by helping employees grow and advance their skills. Over time, you’ll see that establishing positive feedback practices from the start can ultimately improve employee satisfaction and retention.