How do I communicate corrective action to an employee?

Article Written By Warren Cook

Honestly, consistently, and professionally.  However, don’t miss the boat on where the process starts.  Never does it begin with you telling someone they missed the mark, failed to get something done right, or they are not meeting your expectations.  Rather, the process begins when you establish, document, and communicate clear and concise goals and expectations to the employee making sure the discussion is collaborative and the goals are mutually understood.

Only when you take the time to clearly outline what the employee needs to do is it appropriate to then communicate where they failed to meet the expectations.  You can’t achieve set expectations if you do not know what they are.

Measuring performance is critical and there is no measurement without establishing the goal and then having clear metrics in place to determine progress towards goals that can influence the behaviors when properly communicated to help an employee get back on track to success.

Do not mislead an employee with false information.  Do not sugar coat the feedback or exaggerate the work behavior leading to the poor performance.  Instead, be succinct, factual, and direct with a genuine goal to help the person succeed.

Wait, did I say genuine?  Yes, people leaders, you will not be effective in communicating your expectations to an employee unless you can demonstrate that you genuinely care about them and their professional success.  Practice communicating effectively and directly with both positive and negative feedback, you will be amazed at the impact on your relationship with your team and how you can empower and motivate your employees with just simple honest communication.