Joined: 19 Jan 2011
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How far should a supervisor go in criticizing the performance of a subordinate? Some highly successful managers have been known to rely on verbal abuse and intimidation.
Do you think that this is an effective means of communicating expectations? If not, what alternative should a manager use in dealing with someone whose work is less than satisfactory? Explain your views on this issue. Be sure to support your position with reasons and/or examples from your own experience, observations, or reading.
As a part of the corporate world, every supervisor-subordinate has to go through the Performance Management and Evaluation Program. I believe it is a challenging task for a supervisor or manager to evaluate performances of employees. Similarly, from an employee standpoint, receiving feedback is a fear factor and a point of inquisitiveness. However, I think that supervisors should not involve verbal abuse in the process of evaluation. Moreover, pressurizing tactics used whilst criticizing performance is a wrong practice.
I agree that an organization comprises of excellent, mediocre, and poor performers. Every supervisor or manager has to evaluate the performances on annual basis and rate them. It is quite possible that supervisors will involve verbal abuse and ill-treat their subordinates. However, respect between the two individuals is the key to a healthy employer-employee relationship. Rather than pointing out the demerits and bullying the employee, the supervisor, who would obviously have better proficiency, can identify the loopholes in performance and make attempt to improvise them. Verbal abuse might have a temporary effect due to threat to one’s job position. However, after that particular moment, the situation would arise again. I think the supervisors need to build confidence that they are associates and not just bosses. While communicating the weaknesses, the supervisor must make it a point to state the strengths and merits of that employee. This will not only boost the confidence but also motivate further to work efficiently. Initiatives need to be taken to introduce “Professional Improvement Program” wherein incomplete knowledge gaps are filled. I consider verbal abuse and intimidation will not only lower the morale of a particular employee, but also hamper the overall division performance. While discussing performances, both the parties should have equal opportunity to put up their points across the table. Only if there were a mutual exchange of views, the discussion would prove to be productive. It is not necessary that only extreme and stringent actions can enhance the efficiencies. An honest message could be communicated without threats or assaults on self-esteem.
In conclusion, supervisors should avoid using verbal abuse and threats. These methods degrade subordinates and they are unlikely to produce the best results in the long run. It is more respectful and probably more effective overall to handle cases of substandard work performance with clear, honest and supportive feedback.