Take care when giving negative feedback

There is a long-held belief in the management world that negative performance feedback – ‘constructive criticism’, for want of a better term – can help employees correct their flaws and improve their output at work. After all, won’t pointing out what someone is doing wrong help them to identify their shortcomings and make steps toward improvement?

A recent study based in the US strongly suggests that this is far from the case, and even if they are conducted with the best of intentions, performance reviews that highlight the negatives can be incredibly damaging. The research, led by Kansas State University’s Satoris Culbertson, shows a critical assessment of job performance can harm employees at any level.

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