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Rethink Criticism: Is Your Criticism of Employees Actually Contempt?

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When it comes to leading morale, rethink criticism and how you give it. When you criticize employees, do they hear value or contempt? This is an important question that drives employee experience and satisfaction. The following list will help you rethink criticism and lead morale so much better.

Rethink Criticism: Are You Showing Contempt for Employees?

Let’s first consider the definition of contempt: the feeling that a person or a thing is beneath consideration, worthless, or deserving scorn. Source: Oxford Language Dictionary

Leaders, criticism can seem like contempt when you:

    1. Use demeaning words instead of objective observations about their work. Example of contempt: “Why am I even paying you?” Making employees feel worthless won’t make them work harder. Don’t degrade employees. Coach instead of diminishing who they are.
  1. Show prejudice. Prejudice, racism, sexism, etc… show contempt for others. Moreover, when you say racist or sexist things in your criticism of employees, they will hear your contempt for who they are as people. Rethink criticism and any biases you may have. Valuable criticism is founded in explicit observations of behaviors and actions they can change. Your disdain is of no value to them.

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