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5 Examples Why Employee Feedback is Important

Aanya Rachel (Guest contributor)

July 21, 2023

Employee feedback to managers allows the former to express their perspectives, ideas, and concerns. It also fosters improvement, encourages personal growth, and enhances organizational collaboration and workflows creating a workplace where every voice matters and every opinion can kick-off positive change.

However, providing feedback to managers could be tricky as it requires tact, honesty, and a genuine desire to promote improvement. Whether you're praising your manager's leadership style or suggesting an area for improvement, providing feedback in the right way can lead to meaningful changes that benefit everyone in your team or organization.

In this article, let's look at five types of feedback employees can share with their managers, illustrated with practical examples to understand their importance in today’s workspace.

1. Positive Feedback

Positive feedback, as the name suggests, revolves around affirming and appreciating the effective actions or initiatives of your manager. It's essentially a pat on the back, a sincere acknowledgment of a job well done.

Managers, like everyone else, appreciate recognition for their good work. It reassures them that their efforts are seen and valued, which fuels their motivation and job satisfaction. Additionally, it provides them with a clear understanding of what they're doing right, allowing them to leverage their strengths more effectively.

An effective positive feedback could look something like this:

"John, I really appreciated the way you handled our project meeting yesterday. You made sure everyone had an opportunity to speak and share their ideas, which helped us all feel valued. Your leadership in fostering a collaborative environment is making a real difference in our team dynamics. Keep it up!"

2. Constructive Criticism

Constructive criticism refers to the process of offering helpful and actionable feedback that can lead to improvements in work performance, processes, or decisions. It's not about pointing out flaws for the sake of it, but rather, it's intended to initiate change and growth.

For a manager, it provides insights into areas where they might be falling short and suggests methods to refine their strategies or behavior. It's not just about the negative — the 'constructive' part means it's coupled with advice or suggestions on how to do things better.

For employees, giving constructive criticism can contribute to a healthier work environment, as it encourages them to think critically about the process they are a part of.

Here's an example of constructive criticism:

"Rachel, I noticed in our team meetings that discussions often run longer than scheduled. While I appreciate your thoroughness, it might help if we could stick to the agenda more closely. This could ensure that everyone's time is respected and that we cover all necessary points within the allotted time. Maybe we could try setting a timer for each agenda item to keep us on track?"

3. 360-degree Feedback

360-degree feedback is a comprehensive feedback system where feedback about a manager's performance is gathered from all angles — their subordinates, peers, and even from themselves. It provides a holistic view of a manager's strengths and areas of improvement.

The significance of this feedback mechanism lies in its potential to enrich the employee-manager relationship by fostering a positive work culture and enhancing team collaboration. Furthermore, it allows managers to gain a broader perspective on their leadership skills, facilitating their development.

Here's an example of 360-degree feedback:

"John, you're doing a great job at keeping us informed about the project status and changes, which we appreciate. However, we feel there could be more opportunities for us to contribute our ideas to decision-making processes. Perhaps, we could have regular brainstorming sessions to generate ideas and solutions together?"

This feedback gives John a complete view of his managerial style, highlighting what he's doing well (communication) and where he could improve (inclusion in decision-making).

4. Feedback on Leadership Style

Feedback about a manager’s leadership skills can help them improve team dynamics, facilitating a conducive and empowering work environment.

Feedback on leadership style also plays an essential role in empowering employees and their peers by enabling them to voice their perspectives and encouraging a culture of open communication. It's through this openness that a team can truly function optimally, with all members feeling heard and valued.

Let's take an example:

"Lucy, I appreciate your ability to delegate tasks effectively, which allows us to work autonomously. However, we sometimes feel stressed due to the high expectations and tight deadlines. Maybe we could discuss the feasibility of timelines before setting them? This might help us manage our work better and deliver quality results."

This feedback, while acknowledging Lucy's effective delegation, brings to light a potential area of improvement — setting realistic expectations and deadlines. It's a respectful way to suggest alterations in her leadership style for improving the productivity of the whole team.

5. Feedback on Communication Style

Providing feedback to managers about their communication style helps them understand how their messages are perceived and discover ways to refine their approach if needed.

It helps employees express their comfort levels, opinions, and preferences, fostering a more inclusive working environment where everyone’s questions are adequately and respectfully answered.

Consider this example:

"Mark, I appreciate your quick responses to our queries and the clarity in your instructions. However, the team has noticed that during meetings, the discussions often go off track. Perhaps, we could stick to the agenda more strictly, and leave some time at the end for other unrelated topics? This would allow us to be more efficient and focused."

This feedback compliments Mark's promptness but gently points out an area that needs improvement — maintaining the focus during meetings. It not only gives Mark a chance to adjust his communication style but also promises better meeting efficiency, benefiting the entire team.

Wrapping up

It's vital to remember the role of constructive and respectful communication in delivering feedback. After all, feedback is not about criticism; it's about opening conversations that facilitate growth and improvement for both the individuals and the organization.

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Remember, open dialogue in the workspace paves the way for continuous learning and career development. So, communicate your insights respectfully and adequately; your feedback could be pivotal in initiating positive change in your team and organization.

This guest post is written by Aanya Rachel,Content Manager at The Address, coworking and managed offices provider.

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