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How to Get Better Feedback from Managers?

Today’s workforce is heavily focused on their own career development, they are eager to gain the necessary skills and experience that will take them to the next step in their career. A common complaint from employees is that managers and bosses do not give thoughtful, constructive feedback or, at times, any feedback at all. Employees are left to self-evaluate their own progress and be responsible for their own professional growth. In doing this, they lose out on the benefit that outside feedback may provide until the end of the year performance evaluation.

There is a common belief that feedback from a manager must be negative in order to be constructive. For example, pointing out all the things that you may be doing wrong. In reality, feedback can be giving recognition to all the things that someone may be good at and then giving recommendations and guidance on how to be even better at it. It is hard for many managers to convey feedback in this way because they may not be skilled at articulating it. So how can a company change its culture to create a better environment for higher quality feedback?

Implement Continuous Feedback

Managers and their team members need guidance and a safe, healthy environment in order to foster better feedback and improve their communication. Continuous feedback should be given frequently in order to benefit both parties. Employees and their managers who participate in continuous feedback are more committed to their position and see a greater quality of results towards their goals and their overall performance as the year progresses.

Continuous Feedback should be easily administered and documented through an all-in-one system. A system that is able to document continuous feedback and promote its usage can bring real time performance and feedback data back to the executive team.

Recognize the Good Things First

Most managers in today’s workforce are not giving enough feedback and not giving the right balance of feedback. Some managers only give positive feedback, only let their employees know the great things they are currently doing but do not want to give negative feedback to avoid an awkward conversation. Other managers only give negative feedback, which lowers the team morale and employees become less invested in their job. Recognize their good work first and then add on with advice on how to improve. Create a template for managers to acknowledge all the good work their team members put forth through continuous feedback.

Just Ask

Employees can also solicit feedback and build upon it from their managers through the continuous feedback system. Rather than asking for feedback, they can frame it as if they were asking advice. Empathize the importance of receiving their thoughts on how to improve or be more effective. This lowers the pressure of the situation, makes it less formal and can get you better feedback.

All, or if not most, want to perform well at their jobs and develop the skills necessary for the next step in their career but sometimes lack the tools to take them there. It is tough to open a conversation on areas of improvement and the end of year performance evaluation process is not enough. Implementing a continuous feedback system will allow employees and their manager to have a healthy channel to have a conversation. Human resources can help guide the conversation and employees can illicit feedback themselves. Better feedback benefits the whole organization, not just the employee and the manager. Implementing a continuous feedback based, performance management, employee engagement and employee development system is the first step to improving the type of feedback given and received.

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