Most humans in the work ecosystem learned the importance of feedback the hard way. Precisely, when in 2020, the entire world underwent a series of changes. It was the time that forced the leaders to change, to listen, and implement feedback received from the bottom of the hierarchy more and more…
It sure gave rise to upward feedback and made it common. But are the ‘ new and old feedback givers’ considerate, careful, and polite enough when sharing it?
This blog guides you on why, when, and how to give managers feedback. Read on!
- Why Is It Important To Share Feedback With Your Manager?
- When To Give Feedback To Your Manager?
- When To Avoid Giving Feedback To Managers?
- Examples Of Positive Feedback To Manager
- How To Give Positive Feedback To Your Manager (Sample Letter)
- Examples Of Negative Feedback To Managers
- Examples Of Constructive Feedback To Managers
Why Is It Important To Share Feedback With Your Manager?
Manager feedback is essential for several reasons:
- It helps build up your professional dynamics.
- It would improve communication and problem-solving skills.
- It helps resolve grievances before they get toxic.
- It also uplifts a healthy work environment.
- It is the leader’s job to set examples. Thus, it also contributes to a healthier feedback culture and mindset at work.
Most importantly, employees who become leaders achieve success due to continuous monitoring and feedback from seniors. But as they achieve substantial success, the board of directors and other leaders might evaluate the manager’s performance through more formal boardroom meetings and indirect feedback from subordinates.
McKinsey states, “As a result of this, many executives find that as they become more senior, they receive less coaching and become more confused about their performance and developmental needs.”
The solution to this is for the subordinates to monitor the manager’s daily activities and provide them with meaningful and constructive feedback. And hence the importance of feedback for managers lies in driving performance.
When To Give Feedback To Your Manager?
You must be tactful while giving upward feedback. Below are a few events when your feedback will not appear impulsive or reactive but relatively structured and intentional:
- One-on-one check-ins are an excellent time to share feedback
- During a team meeting; only share your feedback here if it concerns the entire team and will not make the manager conscious in such a group setting
- When your manager asks for feedback
One Gallup team recently made a monthly feedback group for themselves. And this activity was so inspiring that other teams were invited to join the group. The author adds, “That’s how feedback should feel inspiring. Unsolicited feedback rarely is. Usually, it produces more anxiety than uplift, more stress than engagement, more tension than development and more harm than good.”
Here is a short checklist of Dos while giving feedback to the manager:
- The employees can quote examples while giving feedback.
- Be as sensitive and professional as possible.
- Be present in person or on a call, as feedback over texts and emails can often lead to miscommunication.
When To Avoid Giving Feedback To Managers?
However, honest feedback is like medicine for maintaining a team’s productivity. Offering input to anybody, especially superiors, remains a critical feat.
Providing feedback on certain occasions might be a wrong decision, especially if it is negative, even if it appears as constructive criticism. Some such events you should avoid are:
- Never react impulsively in the heat of the moment
- Also, ensure you do not provide feedback in front of your manager’s superiors
- Avoid giving feedback when you or your manager is frustrated or very busy
- When it is serious feedback and needs to involve human resources
- When you are a newcomer and don’t yet have a rapport
- When you are outside work
Examples Of Positive Feedback To Manager
53% of senior leaders and 42% of managers want more recognition at their respective workplaces. Thus, expressing your gratitude and appreciation can work positively to strengthen the bond between managers and employees. Here are some positive feedback examples you can extend to your manager.
“I admire the way you keep the entire team together. I genuinely appreciate that you advocate for us, care for our mental health, and give importance to our thoughts, however insignificant.”
Growth And Development
“You’re truly inspirational in how you support us in the project bottlenecks and the resources you make available for everyone. Your dedication to our development shows your thoughtfulness and compassion in all you do.”
Gratitude For Recognition
“Thank you for highlighting my work and appreciating it in the meeting. I indeed put a lot of effort into that project. And your recognition and appreciation mean a lot to me. Thanks again!”
Keeping The Morale Up
“Your positivity really helps keep the team morale up, especially when the team is going through project bottlenecks. I genuinely appreciate you going the extra mile to keep our spirits up.”
“Your ability to put things in perspective has always given direction and pushed my team and me to perform our best and push our limits further.”
“Thank you for supporting me this quarter when I struggled with my mental health/ workload.”
How To Give Positive Feedback To Your Manager (Sample Letter)
Dear [Manager’s Name],
I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your help this week/ month/ year, especially in the (exact challenge/ deal/ project that you received support for).
I genuinely appreciate you as a manager and enjoy working with you. I am grateful to you for (helping me develop my XYZ skills/supporting me in ABC times).
Thank you again, and I look forward to future projects with you!
Examples Of Negative Feedback To Managers
Giving feedback to a manager is difficult, let alone giving negative feedback. However, it is better done early than later in a much more difficult situation. It helps build a healthier company culture where positive communication flows freely. Thus, encouraging employees to feel confident about giving feedback to their bosses is essential. And indeed, constructive criticism can be taken positively at work if delivered appropriately. Here are some ideas:
More Regular Feedback
“I know you’re busy, but my performance could benefit from more regular check-ins. I can guarantee this will help me progress in the right direction and align my efforts with the company and team goals.”
More Detailed Feedback
“Thank you for taking out time to provide feedback. But I could improve my performance if you provided more context in the feedback. This would help us understand how well our goals are aligned with organisational goals.”
Have Excessive Workload
“After some thought, I am concerned that this new project will affect my overall performance. My 20 hours a week are already dedicated to clients’ work and another 15 hours to sales enablement, so I have very little time to dedicate to this new project. My concern is whether I will be able to justify this new responsibility. Can we discuss adjusting my workload?”
Need Higher Employee Engagement
“I admire you taking the pains to guide me on the details. But I think my performance could get a boost with some extent of creativity.”
“I think if we could work on involving more positive language in the meetings, it could help boost the team’s morale.”
Growth And Development
“I aspire to grow in this company more and deliver on my responsibilities. But I believe my role in the company has become stagnant. Can you help me find more opportunities for my growth and development?”
Examples Of Constructive Feedback To Managers
In its true essence, every manager or employee’s feedback must be constructive. However, certain feedback is neither positive nor negative but rather a commentary on how things can be improved.
Some examples of constructive feedback include:
- Notifying your manager that you need a more booster because of a project’s burnout.
- You are asking your manager to assess a loss about what could have been done better.
- Review performance at the end of a client relationship, project, or a specific period.
Some ways to put forward your constructive feedback are:
- “I believe the team could benefit by….”
- “Perhaps the task [X] can be better handled by….”
- “I see an opportunity to improve this process in [X] way.”
Keep in mind that managers will most likely take your feedback in the right way if you put it forward tactfully.
A survey by Zety reported that 57% of employees would not report any challenges with their managers. But as employees, the leaders and senior managers also need a balanced dose of positive affirmations and constructive criticism. They take it positively if delivered appropriately. Managers should understand the feedback is entirely professional and not personal. An excellent technique to enforce a culture of upward feedback is the 360-degree feedback process. It enables input from an entire spectrum of people, superiors, peers, and subordinates, even clients! Hence, all employees can communicate their thoughts and nuances and feel confident about extending input to the manager.