One of the many management tomes that may have filled stockings this Christmas was "Radical Candor" by Kim Scott Malone, an ex-Google and Apple employee.
Ms Scott's approach is for managers to deliver feedback immediately as frankly as possible - both in praise and in criticism - and often in public. Ms Scott's ideas are catching on in the UK particularly in the world of start ups where the quest for the optimal working environment is seemingly endless. Ms Scott is keen to point out that this approach should not be a free for all and calls for managers to find an honest mid point for immediate feedback between what she labels obnoxious aggression and ruinous empathy. It is an interesting and thought provoking stance. No doubt it will prove, for many, a highly effective management tool.
Below is an example of feedback received during what appears to have been a carefully and sensitively conducted "radical candor" management session. Employee relations practitioners will no doubt feel an uneasy sensation at the idea of employees receiving feedback on issues such as energy levels, which could so easily be linked to issues such as disability or childcare, and could be received badly by affected employees - or worse, amount to discrimination.
Furthermore, and as we all know, even the best management plans can go wrong where underlying workplace politics and emotions intervene. The possibility of a manager or employee taking a gung-ho approach to "radical candour" and straying into aggression which could be humiliating for their staff or colleagues, and could amount to bullying or harassment, seems entirely plausible.
Whilst it is an interesting and exciting approach, employee relations practitioners will no doubt agree that it must be implemented with care, control and caution if it is to avoid employee relations fall-outs.
One person’s been told they need to “suck it up” in morning meetings, because they always seem tired.