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Feedback (praise and constructive criticism) is a gift. It is one of the most important gifts that you can give as a manager (or employee in general) to all those you interact with – not just the people that you manage or lead. Feedback can improve the quality, retention, and engagement of employees, efficiency of company processes, and quite literally the bottom line.

As someone working within an organization, feedback provides the answer key for what I am doing well or how I can improve. Feedback should be consistently sought out by both employee and employer, why? Because people can’t improve without feedback, so companies and processes can’t improve.

So, if feedback is such a gift, why does Gallup’s State of the Employee Workforce report say this:

“One of the greatest shortcomings of traditional performance management systems is a lack of ongoing feedback and coaching.”

Feedback should be provided regularly and consistently rather than the typical once a year performance review.

I am not alone with this sentiment.

  • 96% of employees say that receiving feedback regularly is a good thing
  • 83% of employees really appreciate receiving feedback, whether it is positive or negative
  • 62% of employees wish they received more feedback from their colleagues – business is a team sport people!

Knowing what we know, why is giving feedback so difficult?

One main reason that employees are having trouble providing feedback is that they need help.

  • Only 14.5% of managers agree that they are effective at giving feedback
  • 64% of employees said that the quality of feedback they receive should be improved
  • Only 23% of employees strongly agree that their manager provides meaningful feedback and only 26% of employees strongly agree that the feedback they receive helps them do better work

For some, it might be easy to provide feedback to superiors, peers, and those who report to you. To others, it might be awkward and extremely difficult.

What are some small things you can do to make giving feedback easier?

  1. Build strong relationships with your manager, peers, and those who you manage
  2. Base feedback off open, honest, and collaborative conversations
  3. Touch base frequently – at least once per week via text, call, zoom, email, 1-1 conversations, etc. to discuss performance and provide coaching
  4. Ensure that the employee is clear with their current role and responsibilities
  5. Drive accountability and ownership

Giving and receiving feedback is hard. However hard it may be, feedback is essential to creating a successful culture and organization.

What are your thoughts?

What tips do you have for giving and receiving feedback?

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