APPRENTICE star and vice-chairperson of West Ham FC Karren Brady answers all your careers questions.
Today she helps a line manager whose high standards led to negative feedback and a new employee who's unsure if they like their new job.
Q. My company does 360 feedback for appraisals and I received some criticism from someone I line manage that my standards are too high and I ask too much of them in their role.
My manager said I should take everyone’s feedback on board, but now I don’t know how to move forward. Yes, I have high standards, but I’ve always thought of it as a good thing. Do you have any advice?
Lou, via email
A. Let’s start by remembering the point of a 360-degree review. It provides feedback on how your peers and others view your management style and how well you perform in areas such as leadership, teamwork, communication and accountability, so you can take it away and then decide what you can improve or change. It looks to me that you have focused on the one thing you perceive as negative in the whole review.
So I agree with your manager: take all the feedback in then reflect on it. Having high standards is not a problem – the issue may be how you communicate to your team when they’ve fallen below the standards you’ve set. Are you explaining what your expectations are so people can ensure they meet them? How are you letting people know that there is a gap between what you expect from them and what they deliver? If the person simply cannot meet the standard you set, how can you help them improve?
And, finally, remember that the person who gave you the feedback is feeling vulnerable themself and no doubt feeling disappointed that they have not been able to deliver as you expect. The heart of resolving this is to not take it personally and focus on clear communication.
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Q. I started a new job with a small company last month, and while I’m grateful to have got employment during this difficult time, I’m worried I’ve made a mistake.
There are only 10 people in the company and I don’t feel I’ve gelled with any of them, plus the work is quite repetitive. We’re working mostly from home, but there are some days I need to go into the office and I dread them! Do you think I should cut my losses or stick it out, even though it might make me miserable?
Tana, via email
A. I cannot think of anything worse than waking up in the morning and dreading going to work. We all spend so much time working that if it is making you miserable you must make it a priority to sort it out. The first thing to ask yourself is what can you change? Can you get to know people in the office? Nothing will change unless you try, and maybe they are not that bad! Also, I hate to tell you, but almost all jobs have an element of repetition.
Consider asking your boss for more challenging work, and focus on the positives of your role. One real positive for you, is that you can clearly do the job and, as you say, you’ve done really well to get a job in this economic environment, so you must have great skills, a strong CV and interview well.
You owe it to yourself to try to make it better before quitting. And remember, it’s far easier to get a new job while you are in a job, so if you decide you can’t stick it out long-term, start looking for something new now.
- Got a careers question you want Karren to answer? Email [email protected]
Compiled by: Claire Frost
Karren can not answer emails personally. Content is intended as general guidance only and does not constitute legal advice.
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