1. Compute total pay.
Most employees have no idea how much their employer pays for all their benefits. As a result, workers may clamor for higher pay or better health insurance coverage without realizing the value of what they're already receiving.
Develop a worksheet that calculates each employee's total compensation. It should list not only base pay and bonuses, but also other company-funded perks such as 401(k) contributions.
2. Clarify your feedback.
To make sure you provide clear input, remove ambiguity about what you think.
If you want to offer constructive criticism, begin by summarizing what you observe. Then confirm that your employee agrees with your observation. At that point, say, "Here's another approach that may work better." By avoiding negative commands ("Stop doing it wrong"), you convey feedback that's easy to accept.
3. Collaborate on a metric that counts.
You use metrics to measure staff performance. In November, customize an additional metric that flows from a discussion with each employee.
Ask each staffer, "What specific measure do you think we should introduce to evaluate your performance?" Probe to determine why the employee thinks that the new metric has value. If you agree it's a valid indicator, track it alongside your existing metrics.