Pushing the positive and not harping on the negative

Today’s Wall Street Journal article “You’re Awesome! Firms Scrap Negative Feedback” caught my eye. Firstly because the word AWESOME is my jam so how could I not read it and secondly because I’m sure most of us who have worked in corporate America have been on the receiving end of some pretty harsh negative feedback at some point.

I do think there’s something to be said for not beating down your employees as they noted in the article and I am happy they broach the idea that we can praise while not ignoring potentially real issues. I question the article’s timing.  Are firms toning down harsh reviews because they think it’s less effective than praising the accomplishments?  I would present that they may have started this change because they fear their employees will leave now that the market has opened a bit. Would this same article have worked in Feb 2009 coming off the Sept 16,  2008  market crash? We’re not in  the same place we were prior but we’re definitely not in as desperate a job situation as 2009.

I do however have to note the pop out around “Reframing the Employee Review” is a bit much.  Instead of saying “What are we stuck on?” say “What are we doing really well?” is a stretch.  Firstly “What are we stuck on?” isn’t that harsh. If you said “Why can’t you fix this?” or “What am I paying you for if you can’t fix this?” is harsh.  But that’s my two cents.


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