Don’t Criticise Your Employees

“Don’t criticize them; they are just what we would be under similar circumstances.” Abraham Lincoln

Over the period of last 7 years I’ve worked with over 10 different employers; freelance, part-time and full-time, and without any doubt I’ve always enjoyed working with people who are friendly rather than bossy, people who give feedback rather than criticise.

A lesson that I learnt in my life is to stop criticising, condemning and complaining. Looking back in past, I’m ashamed to admit that sometimes I do complain a lot, maybe a little more than needed. Living in Amsterdam, complaining about weather feels normal. However I’ve also realised one major thing about criticism from my experience is that now I prefer to work with people who give feedback (positive or negative) instead of criticising because just like Dale Carnegie said:

“The resentment that criticism engenders can demoralise employees, family members and friends, and still not correct the situation that has been condemned.”

This indeed is true. I remember that we had a teacher in university who used to criticise students with lower grades and I was one of them. As a result, instead of improving in that course I started avoiding unnecessary contact with him and lost will power to learn anything about Operating Systems (his subject).

Same goes for my boss at my part-time restaurant job who was infamous among all of the employees for his bitter criticism. His behaviour towards us lead employees to procrastinate during his presence and turned good workers into clock watchers.

Ask yourself. Wont you enjoy working with people who are open to ideas and always give feedback to what you’ve done or are doing. For example one of my previous employees had a very friendly relation with me due to which it always made it easier for me to come up with creative or dopy ideas to get the job done. Not all ideas would work but good part was always getting a nice friendly feedback instead of harsh comments. This gave me more confidence about myself and the way I do my work and as a result we achieved great things together for company and my personal skills as a developer improved a lot.

Criticism does not help you or your employees. If you want to be a good employer, be a good listener to your employees, be a person who is willing to listen to ideas and is able to cope with mistakes and give feedback to them. Being a friend to your employees will help you build a positive work environment and your employees will always look forward to next working day and they will reach newer levels of productivity.

Human beings are emotional creatures and not everyone has same emotional and intellectual capacity. So when you deal with them, always remember that you’re dealing with emotions and everyone copes with your comments in different ways. Humble and logical feedback are more understandable to employees and it is always a good idea to understand why they did what they did.

There’s a saying in my country that ‘Criticising is the easiest job in the world’. Try not to do that.