Your best employees want feedback. They want to know how they’re doing on the job, and they want you to tell them. But don’t just launch into a critique of their performance during formal and informal discussions without getting some idea of their own perspective.
Start by asking, “How do you think you’re doing?” You may find that they’re worried about some aspect of their work that isn’t terribly important, or that they’re interested in doing more in a particular area you hadn’t considered.
Open up your performance discussions by probing employees’ minds, and you’ll do a better job of providing the motivation and support they’re looking for.
–Adapted from the BNZ website