Maximizing Your Feedback

To become a more effective manager, you need feedback — not only from your supervisor, but from the employees you supervise.

Be aware, however, that there’s a right way and a wrong way to seek your team’s input. Here are a few tips from human resources consultant Sharlyn Lauby, creator of the website HR Bartender, in a February 2021, post:

  • This cannot be a one-time activity. If your goal is continuous improvement, then you need to seek continuous feedback.
  • Tell employees in advance. This gives them time to think about what they want to share with you.
  • Be prepared to do something. “One of the worst things that organizations can do is ask employees for feedback and then do nothing with the information,” Lauby wrote.
  • Consider more structured questions at first. Open-ended questions may result in feedback that you can’t deliver on. So instead of asking an employee what he or she needs from the company, ask it this way: “What’s one thing the company can do … that costs under $XX?”
  • Ask employees for feedback about giving feedback. “Find a time to ask employees what they thought of giving feedback,” Lauby said. “See if they have any suggestions about how to incorporate it into regular one-on-one meetings.”
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