Selena Jodha
January 23, 2023

Giving and receiving feedback: Are you making these leadership mistakes?

A leader who knows how to give and receive feedback will not only help increase engagement and productivity within the organization but will also contribute to building a culture of belonging.  

About 15% of companies that implement regular employee feedback experience lower turnover rates. When employees feel supported, valued, and connected to the greater team, they’ll feel more confident and eager to contribute. And when team members are encouraged to give feedback to their managers, they’re more likely to trust and respect people in leadership because they feel confident that their voices are being heard.

However, 65% of employees said they wanted more feedback, and 58% of managers think they give enough. To help leaders build high-performing teams and retain top talent, the Perfeqta team outlined a few tips on how to create a feedback loop.

How to give feedback that improves performance and engagement  

When leaders give regular feedback, employees will better understand your expectations of them and have more clarity around the company’s goals.

Constructive feedback encourages team members to do their best work and explains how underperforming employees aren’t meeting expectations. Positive feedback and recognition gives team members confidence in their role and makes them feel appreciated. Here are tips on how to give feedback that produces positive results.

Schedule 1:1 meetings to provide a safe space for conversation. You don’t want to undermine your employees' abilities and break down their confidence by sharing constructive feedback in front of others.

Avoid confusion and try to stay on one topic at a time during the conversation. Providing feedback on multiple areas at once can be overwhelming and lead to disengagement and burnout. Frame your feedback clearly and specifically so you can talk through actionable solutions together.

Share why the feedback is important. Remind your employees why they are receiving the feedback and how it impacts the organization as a whole. When you focus on the results and discuss performance goals together, it’s easier to measure progress and avoid miscommunication around expectations.

Share positive feedback often. You don’t have to wait for a formal review to recognize employees for what they’re doing well. Shout them out in a team meeting or via email and share how their work has had a positive impact on the company. When team members reach a big milestone, this is a great opportunity to reward them with gifts, such as free meals, company swag, gift cards, and more.

How to receive feedback and build trust among your team

It’s normal for employees to feel uncomfortable about giving their manager feedback. They don’t want to offend them or create tension in the relationship. That’s why it is essential for leaders to create an open feedback loop.

When team members feel comfortable sharing their concerns with their manager, it helps build trust in the relationship when the manager takes action. Employees recognize that their leaders are committed to creating a safe place where everyone’s voices are heard.

If you want to receive more honest feedback from your team, here are a few ways you can start building trust.

Explain what kind of feedback you’re looking for. Employees who are less expressive may need more guidance on what to share. Asking a team member, “What do you think about my performance as your manager?” is too broad. Instead, be specific by asking questions like:

  • Do you feel like I give you enough time to complete your work?
  • If you could change something about your current role, what would it be?
  • How can I better support you and help eliminate any stress you’re experiencing in your role?

Consider the timing of your request. When asking employees for feedback on a specific project, make sure it’s top of mind. For example, if you’re leading a company initiative, ask employees to give feedback on your performance within 2 weeks of its completion. If you wait 6 months, their feedback may not be detailed since they don’t remember as much, and you’ve lost 6 months of time that you could have been improving as a leader.

Give your employees control over how they give feedback. Some people are comfortable sharing feedback in person and face-to-face. Others may be more honest when giving feedback in the form of a survey. Provide your team members with space, time, and multiple opportunities to share their experiences in the workplace.  

Follow through and keep employees updated on your action items. Employees will not share feedback if they feel like you won’t do anything with it. Once your team members share their thoughts, be sure to thank them for their honesty and explain what you will do with that information.

For example, if your employee tells you that your expectations of them are unclear, explain how you will do a better job briefing them on a project and talking through goals on a weekly basis. During your regular meetings, revisit this topic so everyone is aligned.  

Learn more about building a supportive, engaging, and inclusive company culture.

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