Don’t Toast Your Staff! Make a Reprimand Sandwich.

Got to give some one tough feedback? Here’s a strategy for you: it’s called “The Reprimand Sandwich.”  I got this idea from John Felkins , an Entreleadership Coach for Dave Ramsey.  Felkins mentioned this in Entreleadership’s monthly podcast.  He says that the best way to confront a staff member is to do the following: Start by telling them something you value about their work. Then, explain what you need them to work on or what needs to change. Finish by emphasizing that they are important to the organization, and why.

ToastGiving negative feedback is a necessity.  Reports that are underperforming need to hear it for their benefit.  As well, if you are going to grow your team and meet your goals, you need to give it. However, as I’m sure you know, when it’s given the wrong way it can leave a bad taste in their mouth, maybe even demotivating and disengaging your staff.

As a manager, I have toasted plenty of folks by giving them poorly served reprimands. Even when I thought I did a good job, I would find out later that the person was crushed by my delivery, and the outcome was only their improvement on their résumé.

Tips for making a good reprimand sandwich:

  1. Know the person who has to digest it. Some people need a lot of bread (reassurance), others can handle more meat.
  2. Don’t use soggy or stale bread. It’s going to be hard for them to swallow if you’re disingenuous or if you’re giving everyone the same old praise. Give specific examples of why they’re valued. Bring up a recent success.
  3. Always serve the information one-on-one. This isn’t a group dining experience.
  4. Go back and check on how it went down Go back to the person a few days later to make sure they’re OK and didn’t choke.

OK, I think I have served up enough analogies.

I would love to hear your review of this post. Did I whet your appetite? Are you ready to dish it out? Gak!… I can’t stop…

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