Tell Your Employees the Truth

Tell Your Employees the Truth


Teachable Moment: Help your employees to continue to grow in their roles by telling them the truth about their performance.

The Problem

We’ve all been in this situation before.

An employee is producing subpar results on a project, and it’s our responsibility to let them know they need to improve.

However, we shy away from having that conversation and pretend everything is all right.

Maybe it’s because we’d like to spare hurting their feelings. Or maybe it’s because we don’t want them to see us as the “bad guy” and ruin the positive relationship we’ve built with them.

But in reality, it does more harm to them than good.

If you’re hiring the right people for your roles, they’ll want to grow and learn how to improve. Avoiding difficult conversations like these isn’t doing them any favors.

The Solution

When facing uncomfortable conversations about performance and improvement, think about the following 3 elements:

  • Timeliness. If you see the need for an employee to improve on a project or statement of work, address it as soon as possible. The more time that passes, the less impactful the message becomes.
  • Respect. Just because you deliver tough/uncomfortable feedback doesn’t mean you have to be rude. People don’t actively enjoy making mistakes or being told they can do better. A little bit of kindness goes a long way.
  • Support. Offer your assistance if it makes sense. Great leaders guide their employees toward improvement by working together.

Your employees cannot grow if you’re not being honest with them.

Tell them the truth, no matter how uncomfortable it might seem.