When it comes to feedback, we often think about the feedback given to the employees by their managers. But it is important to understand that employee feedback is as important for the managers as it is for any other worker in the organization.
Feedback for managers can be a scary one for employees who have never done that before. But it’s important to keep the lines of communication open both ways for improvement. It can provide the necessary guidance that can be a significant help to both employees and the manager.
That includes both positive and negative feedback for managers. Here are a few tips to make your feedback for managers a little less daunting and more of a constructive feedback process than the feedback is supposed to be.
Why is Employee Feedback to Managers Important?
The managers play a significant role in the engagement of their team at work as well as potentially toxic culture or burnout. In the absence of any feedback from your manager, they often continue the same behaviour without realizing the impact they have on the team.
Giving feedback to your manager or your boss is not an easy thing to do for the employees. They often hesitate, thinking that it may harm their own image or they will offend their manager in the process.
When employees get the chance to voice their opinion may, whether it be positive feedback or negative, it makes them feel an important part of the company. Companies need to give their employees opportunities to express their views about their managers which makes them feel valued.
Two-way communication is important to give for the team members too, as it will allow the manager to know the issues that you might be facing. There can be things such as
- You can talk about your discomfort
- It is an opportunity to voice your concerns about your career growth
- You can tell them that you have a requirement for training or guidance to improve your ability to work.
For the Manager
Like any other employee, the manager also needs feedback from the people they are working with to improve the quality of their work. The upward feedback from the direct reports can help managers to,
- Understand what their team expects from them
- Effectivity of their managerial style
- What can they do to be more productive at their job
- Utilize resources more efficiently
- Increase employee motivation
For upward feedback to your manager have intentional feedback. It has to deliver in a constructive way.
What is Constructive Feedback?
Constructive feedback is a suggestion or comment that is provided to someone with the intention that the receiver can utilize it for a positive purpose in future.
Constructive feedback for your manager is more than your opinion about their work. It is a piece of information that can be of significant help to them to improve your manager’s work or behaviour positively in the future.
How to Give Constructive Feedback to Managers?
A few things that can help you to ensure that you have helped your boss with constructive feedback are listed below.
Make it Specific
Be very specific and clear with your words. If you can say something in simple words, don’t go for complicated ones. Construct your feedback in a way that ensures that it does not confuse your manager. Ensure that it’s not superficial or generalized. It must say something specific very clearly.
Avoid Personal Remarks
It’s important that you are not putting personal remarks. It’s crucial that you are talking about work only and do not criticize your manager as a person.
Keep it Simple
Make your feedback easy to understand for the receiver. Keep in mind that you are not to play riddles with your manager or check their ability to comprehend your statement. The feedback you give will be worthless if the receiver doesn’t understand it.
When you are giving feedback to superiors, maintain a formal and positive tone in your statement of feedback and focus on the solution instead of the problems. The key to providing constructive feedback is to be straight about what you want to say as a part of your feedback.
What can be a part of Upward Feedback?
Asking for Guidance
As an employee, you can ask your manager for more guidance about your work or on some particular project. When you are working on some project as a team, your boss also wants to feel like a part of the team. If you are facing some difficulties, give your manager an opportunity to help you. Giving feedback to managers and asking them to provide that guidance also shows that you,
- look up to them in for the knowledge and the experience they possess
- are dedicated to your work and want to do the best your can and improve your skills
- consider them as a part of your team
Requesting Better Communication
Communication is very important when it comes to the team. If there is any hindrance or confusion in the communication from your boss, it can halt the speed of the project. Sometimes lack of communication leads to loss of productive time and wastage of effort.
So never be late to let your manager know that your communication with them needs an improvement. Examples of feedback for communication can be
“I really appreciate that you chose me to do the task, but I would appreciate some more details”.
“Thank you for your ideas on our projects that you gave in a meeting yesterday; however, the team will appreciate some more details.”
Appreciating their Help and Guidance
Feedback does not always mean complaints and grievances. The feedback can be positive and you can use it to appreciate your manager. Many times employees forget that the manager is also part of their team and they also like to be appreciated for their effort and input as they always do for other team members.
Managers also often act as a mentor to the team as they oversee and guide their effort. The guidance the tea receive at their present work as well as for advancing in their career can be very valuable. There is no harm in letting your manager know how you appreciate their managerial style as part of your feedback.
Examples of such positive feedback can be,
“thank you for being a manager who never compromises on their team’s work-life balance.”
” I really appreciate your guidance at the work which helped me get a better idea about my career in future.”
“Thank you for being a great inspiration at work.”
When to give feedback to your manager?
Companies usually have their own system of review and feedback for employees. This can be once a year to once-a-month review depending on the organizational policies. They should want to give performance feedback to the managers as frequently as they do for the team.
The company’s scheduled feedback cycle can be the right time to provide feedback to your boss. As the entire organization will be on the same page that will help to take the pressure off rather than being daunted by the prospect.
Annual and biannual is just an example of the time when a company asks for feedback officially. That doesn’t have to be the only time to give your feedback. Feedback can be given to managers whenever it’s crucial to say something important.
You also need to make sure that it is the right place and setting for the feedback. Inappropriate feedback examples:
- Suddenly start telling your manager about how their managerial styles affect you negatively in the midst of an official meeting for some other purpose.
- It’s also inappropriate to say negative feedback about them in presence of other people.
The feedback for your manager is best given in a written form provided by the company or in a private face-to-face meeting. It is okay to give positive feedback in a presence of colleagues sometimes. Ensure that negative feedback is never to be given in public.
If you are wondering about how to give negative feedback because you don’t want to offend your boss you can start with the positive.
- “I really appreciate that you want me to take more responsibility but I don’t think I am ready for it now”.
Another example can be other situations where you are requesting them to help you with a project. For example:
- “I really appreciate your guidance on how to make a more practical strategy but I think I need some more training on the technical aspects for me to be more productive”
Like any other employee at the work, managers need feedback from their direct reports to be better at their work. It is important for employees too as they can voice their appreciation as well as challenges to their manager.
Upward feedback can shed light on many aspects of work that otherwise stay hidden. Employees should ensure that they give their manager feedback whenever needed in a formal and respectful manner and ensure that it is constructive feedback.