counseling is so important, yet rarely done because people don't know
how. Here is how to give feedback.
Employee counseling must be done by their Leaders.
their subordinates. It is what sales leaders do. It is the single
biggest asset you have to improve the job performance, job
satisfaction, and retention of your team. It is better than training,
seminars and raises. Below you will find how to give feedback.
Gallup poll showed that 78% of all US employees did not receive either
positive or negative feedback in the last 12 months!!! That is horrible!
If employee counseling is so important, and really
quite easy, why don’t leaders do it?
My guess is that you are lacking three things in
order to counsel your subordinates:
1) The knowledge of how to give feedback.
You don't have the time. Really it is that you haven't made employee
counseling a priority. If you need to find more time in your day, here
are some great techniques on effective time management.
the conviction to help their subordinates to improve. It is
uncomfortable to counsel. Confronting someone on areas of improvement
is tough. Plus, you have the excuse that you are not being counseled.
Tough rocks. If you are in a leadership position, you have the
obligation to make your subordinates better. Not just the obligation to
your employee, but to your subordinates as well. Follow this link for
additional information on a leader's
role and responsibility.
Okay, here is
the "how to" give feedback, ready?
Start; Stop; and Continue. That’s it. That is all there is to it. It is
that simple to counsel one of your subordinates.This is that I want you
to "start" doing; This is what I want you to "Stop" doing; This is what
I want you to "Continue" to do.
your employee counseling letters are done in three paragraphs. (Check
with your HR department. They probably will want some legal mumbo-jumbo
on it as well.)
The only other thing you need to know how to do
when conducting employee counseling is to send “I” or "We" messages and
not “you” messages. This will take the "painfulness" out of the whole
Here are some
examples of "I", "We", and "You" messages:
message: You need to try
message: I think that by
trying harder, you could have more success.
how the “you” message sounds like an attack, and that the verdict is
already out? Who knows, something may be going on in that person's life
that he or she cannot try any harder. By adding “I think” it softens it
because it is not an absolute.
message: You are distracted and
unfocused. You need to focus.
message: How can we work together to help you be
less distracted and more focused?
Again, it is not an
attack, and it opens things up for discussion.
message: Your numbers are down from last quarter
and must improve.
and WE message: I not
comfortable with your numbers. They are down from last quarter and need
to improve. What can WE do to improve
message: You forget
to send me that report.
message: I still
need that report.
it is not a personal attack. The subject of the sentence is “I.” It is
not about “you” it is about “me” (“I”). On the other hand, if the guy
is a shit-bag and you want to get rid of him there would be no
pussyfooting around and his counseling statement would read:
need to try harder. You are distracted and unfocused, your numbers are
down and they have got to improve. Please don't reproduce and
spread your flawed sales-genes any further into the human species."
Do you see how an “I” message is less direct, less assuming and less of
a verdict? "We" message takes on the tone that you are a teammate and
working with that individual to improve. “I” and "We" messages are
psychologically more accepted than a “you” message.
See how to give employee feedback so it is not so
“You” messages are perceived as more of an
save my “you” messages when I want to cram something down a
subordinate's throat so that there is no doubt they received the
message licky-chicky (loud and clear).
If you would like an
example of a real-life counseling letter that I did using the Start,
Stop, and Continue format, use the form below, or continue on down this
page for further discussion on formal and informal counseling.
Formal and Informal Counseling
Formal employee counseling should be conducted annually at a minimum.
Put in on your calendar right now Sally, otherwise you may never do it.
counseling should be done whenever appropriate. Informal counseling
only requires one of the three components of Start, Stop, and Continue.
too often employee counseling has a negative connotation. Informal
counseling should also be positive, not just negative. If you catch
someone doing something good, take 30 seconds and tell them to
“continue” what they are doing. Some people do not know if they are
doing things right, they just do them. This immediately gives positive
reinforcement to behavior you want and it took you less than 30
If you see something a salesperson needs to
doing or “stop” doing, make the immediate corrections and move on.
Again, in 30 seconds or less you can help improve someone’s
The important thing to remember with informal
employee counseling is "public praise, private correction". If
possible, always point out the good someone is doing in front of one’s
Informal corrective counseling should always be
in private, away from peers or coworkers, and there really is never a
time in which you need to yell.
I have been vigorously talked
to by some great leaders. I’ve also been yelled at by some lil’
Napoleons. Getting talked-to by a great leader is 100-times more
effective than being yelled at by some egotist.
They have the commitment to their people to counsel. They make the time
to counsel. They know how to give employee feedback and they make sure
their subordinates are counseling their subordinates and so on.
Implement an employee counseling program in your corporation today.
go to the top of this employee counseling page, click here.
go to the home page of Sales Management Solutions click here