A common method of employee management is the “feedback sandwich,” a technique intended to help soften the blow of criticizing a worker’s performance. The manager typically gives the employee the criticism buffered on each side by a bit of praise.
Michael D. Jacobson, DO, MPH, of West Chester, Ohio, calls this approach a “baloney sandwich” that is likely to make recipients reject the praise and resent how it was offered.
“For me, it takes courage and thoughtful preparation to give someone negative feedback,” says Jacobson. “Unless I am providing a comprehensive performance review that takes a broad look at what the employee is doing well and where there are areas for improvement, I believe that criticism should stand alone. I try to be firm, direct, and preferably provide three specific examples to drive home the point.”
He notes, “it's a good idea to monitor performance and provide frequent praise to individuals and groups who are doing their jobs well. That way, if there is need for criticism, the employees are more likely to accept it and take it to heart.
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