​3 ​Ways to Give Employees Positive, Yet Constructive, Feedback as a Manager

As your brewery grows, being able to communicate with each and every employee can take more time and a possible personal connection can be lost. It can be important to find ways to keep that communication intact along with making it meaningful. It can also mean, as a manager, establishing ways to craft positive and encouraging feedback while still being able to be critical when needed.

Just like preparing for an expansion of production or products, expanding the work crew is a task that need not be taken lightly and planning is required.

Stoup Brewing is a relatively small facility with around 25 employees, and co-owner Robyn Schumacher said that she and other owners and managers are still working side by side with employees.

“This allows for a lot of casual conversation about ideas,” she said. She added that it’s important to be clear with expectations to allow employees to do well. That means having a well-maintained Employee Handbook and SOPs available.

READ MORE: How to Retain Your Employees

“If they don’t know what the expectations are, it’s tough to hold them accountable,” Schumacher said. “Once the expectations are in place, I can give immediate feedback if I see someone excelling, or provide further training or instruction if they need help.”

Zach Borba, AleSmith’s General Manager of Retail Operations, feels employees​​ want a manager that is going to put them in the best position to be successful.

“​They want to feel like they are part of a team and are valued for the effort they put in​,” he said​​. “​I also feel like a good manager has the ability to help employees get to the next level of their careers.

“​Ultimately my success as a manager is not only the success of the business, but the success of the people that work for me.​”

​Set Clear ​Parameters

Schumacher is also a big believer in regular, formal reviews.

“It’s a great time to show employees how much you value them and also provide an opportunity to grow,” she said. “I think employees want someone who truly cares about them, but also provides clear parameters for their job. Someone who will work with them on areas that need improvement and also celebrate them when they’re doing well. I believe employees want to feel connected to their managers and also feel a clear separation of roles.”

Not Just Criticism

Borba added that a mentor told him a long time ago that it’s very easy for a manager or leader to point out things that their team is doing wrong, but most managers don’t take the time to tell people that they are doing a great job.

“That’s something that has always stuck with me,” he said.

Ask Why

Borba said he likes to ask questions in a review like “Why did we do it this way? Why have we done this in the past? Why do you think this isn’t working?”

“Then I listen to their responses and give feedback from there,” he said.

Photo courtesy Stoup Brewing

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