71% of Swiss employees believe that a pleasant working atmosphere is an important criterion when choosing an employer according to our 2021 Randstad Employer Brand Research. But how can this promise be guaranteed over the long term?

Indeed, collaboration consists of both successes and challenges, and the employee review in particular is a delicate moment with the potential to change the dynamic of your team. Here are 3 tips that will help you get through this stage and maintain a positive attitude in your teams.

Your employee is disappointed after a negative review meeting. “Cheer up,” you might say to yourself, because as a manager, you are aware of the importance of a positive work environment. However, it is important to devote a little more time to this type of negative incident. Better yet, a good conversation with your employees may lead to more motivation and growth.


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Here is the best way to conduct such a conversation:

1. Put words to negative emotions

What has to be avoided? Don't pretend that nothing has happened; this does not help your disappointed employee in the least. But the other extreme is just as inadvisable. Convincing your employee that nothing is his/her fault comes from a good place but does nothing to change the situation.

What should be done? Start the dialogue. Take the first step and put concrete words on the feelings of your employee. Frustration? Disappointment? Sadness, rather? Above all, don't be afraid to make mistakes. Above all, it's a matter of clearing the air.

2. Talk to their inner coach

The negative emotion has been expressed and your employee has been able to say what was on his or her mind. Now ask yourself what exactly this emotion means. The answer can go in two directions: 

  • His/her critical thinking gets going and seeks destructive answers (example: "I have too little talent").
  • His/her inner coach wakes up and wants to act (example: "I must redouble my efforts").

As a manager, of course, it's your employee’s inner coach that you want to address. For this, try to emphasize the positive side of their negative emotions. For example, describe your employee's disappointment as a consequence of the passion that drives him or her. Or share your own experiences. This is a good way to show that suffering setbacks is normal, and that it can even make us grow.

3. Turn negativity into motivation

Your employees confide in each other, and that's not a bad thing. Because it can strengthen ties. On the other hand, the goal is not for your employees to end up in a negative spiral. This is why they must be confronted with the following two scenarios: 

  • Toward what future are we heading if we don't do anything about those feelings?
  • Toward what future are we heading if we decide to act?

Answering these questions will make your team understand that action is the only way forward. Which will give them the motivating boost they need. This exercise applies to many situations, whether it's a little or a big failure, on the part of a single employee or the whole team.

How a manager handles negative emotions at work may therefore make all the difference.

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