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Helpful Tips to Manage Employee’s Negative Responses

Helpful Tips to Manage Employees…Many managers don’t know how to decipher how an employee is going to respond to a conversation about their performance. To help cope with this dilemma, many managers have eliminated performance conversations completely. Conversations about a worker’s performance can trigger several responses, and it’s the manager’s job to understand and appreciate each one to deliver timely and candid feedback to each team member. The most common employee responses experienced during a review delivery can be found here. Managers need to learn what these are so they can handle them properly.


This reaction is seen when the employee begins to attack the reviewer’s credibility and the facts supporting their remarks. Usually, the issue or events being discussed are disowned or denied, or the employee tries to “water down” their role or the impact of their actions. Some of the most common statements heard with a denial reaction include:

  • “I won’t accept the feedback you have given about my management skills. The “incident in question” never took place.”
  • “I have no idea what you are talking about.”


With a reaction of indifference, employees react to the feedback given in a nonchalant manner. They never fully commit to making a change, either. With this reaction, some of the statements that are going to be heard include:

  • “Let me take time to see what I can do about this.”
  • “I can’t make any promises, but I’ll try.”
  • “Maybe I’ll see what I can do.”

Lack of Confidence

If an employee doesn’t have confidence in their ability to succeed, or if they want to avoid all risk, they may react in this manner. You are going to know they have a lack of confidence if they say the following:

  • “I don’t even know where to begin.”
  • “I thought this was going to happen.”
  • “I can’t ever do anything right.”

Skirting the Issue

If an employee is trying to skirt the issue, they may agree to the event but start playing the “blame game.” This is done by making subtle hints they aren’t going to change. If an employee is trying to skirt the issue, they may say things like:

  • “It isn’t my fault.”
  • “I’m sorry, but…”


With anger, things are said impulsively, or the individual reacts in an emotional way. Some of the reactions you may experience in this situation include:

  • “This isn’t fair.”
  • “I always knew you didn’t like me.”
  • “I’ve been working so hard, and this is what I get.”

Reducing Negative Reactions

To reduce negative reactions to performance reviews, HR and managers need to work together to develop a plan of how to approach the interaction. This plan should include the use of sharp, concise language, and plenty of examples. Also, managers need to remain tuned in to understand reactions and respond properly. The best thing a manager can do is maintain composure and never fall into the same tone or manner as the employee. This is going to help improve the situation for everyone involved. If you don’t have an HR department to help with this, consider outsourcing the service. It can offer a large number of benefits for your business and employees.2019-08-29 19:53:03