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Why is constructive feedback for managers important?
In numerous surveys, it is found that effective managers value feedback from their employees. One Gallup study showed that managers increased profitability by 8.9% after receiving constructive positive feedback. It’s important not just because of the data that supports it, but also because of its importance in ensuring motivation and other positive behavior, engagement, growth, and success within an organization.
Because there are various types of feedback - both positive and negative - constructive feedback is seen as being even more important in helping managers hone in on what issues are most crucial for development. Constructive feedback is increasingly being recognized as a key driver of learning and performance improvement, even though it carries the risk that the recipient may resist the messages being delivered.
Whether you are new to management or have been a manager for years, there will come a time when you will need some constructive feedback. Constructive feedback can help managers recognize and address problems that they may not know about, and thus improve the quality of their leadership and their work with each employee. Constructive feedback can also help managers identify areas of improvement and work towards becoming even better managers.
However, as some people find it difficult to give negative feedback (either due to discomfort or fear of upsetting the person), this type of feedback often does not happen as frequently as it should. Employee feedback is more likely to happen if those giving the feedback know how to deliver it effectively and if the person receiving it is receptive. Constructive feedback can also be more impactful when a manager models good behavior by giving and accepting constructive feedback regularly, shows appreciation for the other person's input and works together to solve problems. This can be an important tool in achieving these goals.
Benefits of constructive feedback for managers
It goes without saying that constructive feedback and constructive criticism benefit managers in many ways. Here are just some of those benefits:
- It helps managers find out what their employees think about their performance as a manager, rather than just relying on a performance review and boss feedback.
- It helps them improve their leadership abilities through increased self-awareness so that they can be mindful of specific behavior.
- It improves relationships between managers and others whom they manage and influence.
- It allows every employee to feel comfortable voicing concerns without fear of retribution or punishment from managers.
- It increases work productivity within teams because people who may otherwise be uncomfortable with certain aspects of their job feel free to address these issues without fear.
- Constructive feedback allows managers to measure the work performance of each employee.
- Constructive feedback creates a culture that is more open and honest at work, which can lead to increased engagement behavior with co-workers. In fact, employees that feel ignored by their manager are two times as likely to be actively disengaged.
- Constructive feedback from peers provides a fresh perspective on issues that have been observed by multiple people. This can help managers see things from a different point of view and uncover blind spots in their leadership styles.
- Rather than discouraging the use of negative feedback, constructive feedback encourages it so that problems can be addressed rather than ignored - ultimately leading to better results.
- It can be used to reassess employee roles in the organization. If they are not a good fit, constructive feedback can help managers identify these problems so that they can be fixed before it's too late.
- It allows managers to build rapport with their employees by showing them that their opinions matter and are valued.
- Constructive feedback encourages active listening skills because participants need to stay engaged when receiving it.
- Constructive feedback enables executives, directors, and other senior leaders to see how well their managers are doing when managing others at lower levels of the organization
- It provides opportunities for learning through brainstorming sessions where everyone involved in providing or receiving constructive feedback comes up with solutions. It encourages a feedback culture that values a growth mindset.
Constructive feedback strategies for managers
While managers can gain a lot from constructive feedback, it's also important to remember that the person providing the feedback is doing so voluntarily. Knowing how to give and get constructive feedback is essential. In order to have effective feedback, it should be:
- Constructive and specific - focusing on problem areas and solutions rather than placing blame or pointing fingers at mistakes that were made.
- Valuable for improving results within teams and, ultimately, the organization.
- Constructed with positive intentions; not used to hurt others by embarrassing them in front of their peers.
Constructive in terms of possible resolutions Constructive feedback often involves three key steps:
- Identifying the problem or concern.
- Having a conversation about the causes of that problem or concern and brainstorming potential solutions together with the person receiving the constructive feedback.
- Recommending a course of specific activities that can be taken to address these concerns.
Constructive feedback ideas and tips for managers
Thoroughly prepare for a feedback conversation by:
- Gathering specific examples of problems that have occurred in the past to use during the feedback session.
- Having pen and paper or a digital tool to write down notes about comments you receive so you can remember them later on.
- Develop an action plan based on suggestions made by employees, co-workers, and others involved in providing constructive feedback.
- Ask for regular feedback from employees to see what things are working well, and what might need improvement; this allows managers to gain insight on issues before they become serious problems.
- To improve open communication, asking people how things could change for the better instead of focusing only on what needs to be improved.
- To avoid a backlash from employees who might feel that their manager is being rude or overly harsh, bosses should explain the reasoning behind giving constructive feedback before beginning a conversation about areas for improvement. This prevents people from feeling attacked by the honest feedback and allows them to accept the criticism so they can begin working on ways to improve themselves.
- Positive reinforcement within a productive conversation is key!
- Constructive feedback ideas must stay relevant. If people receive irrelevant advice from their boss, it's not only ineffective but also viewed as unhelpful and uncalled-for.
Constructive feedback software for managers
We have discussed how important feedback is to the work culture. In fact, according to a Clutch survey, 72% of people who receive consistent feedback find their jobs fulfilling. On the opposite side, only 38% of people find their job fulfilling when they do not receive consistent feedback. Constructive Feedback software, such as the free Matter Slack App, takes some of the leg work out of the process of giving and asking for feedback. There are numerous reasons why it should be utilized:
- Constructive feedback software gives managers a systematic method for collecting regular data about how their employees feel they're performing and if any changes need to be made.
- It assists with performance reviews by making them more efficient and also helps managers identify training or development opportunities based on employee interest or unmet needs.
- Provides an easy way for managers to collect instant feedback for appraisal purposes.
- Constructive Feedback Software is now available that can help managers find out how their employees view them, then take the appropriate actions based on the data gathered.
- The software helps managers learn how to improve their communication styles and interpersonal skills.
- It is a quick, easy, efficient, and effective tool that can be used by managers to help them get employees' feedback all in one place!
- Provides the ability for managers to keep track of employees' performance evaluations, training records, or any other relevant documents where constructive feedback might be shared with them.
- Provide an accurate record of employee-manager interactions which can then be used as reference points during future coaching sessions.
- Allows managers the ability to capture authentic data about how their team members feel they are doing on the job so they don't have to rely only on what people say after receiving negative criticism.
- Constructive Feedback Software is a great way for managers to get both positive and constructive feedback from employees. They can then focus on encouraging employees who are doing well and identify weaknesses in others' performance by using the information gathered.