How To Offer Your Manager Feedback - Amber Hurdle | Globally Recognized Leadership & Personal Branding Expert

How To Offer Your Manager Feedback

March 13, 2020

We know one reason employees don’t stay engaged, and why they even quit their jobs, is because of a misalignment between manager and employee. When this relationship is off it severs the connection that drives employee discretionary effort. And discretionary effort is the gold mine of employee engagement and effective teams. 

Instead of suffering through a manager’s blind spots, what if employees could give them constructive feedback?

They can, and it has a name: upward feedback.

*mind blown* 🤯 🤯

Upward feedback is a signature of high performing teams. All employees need feedback, and for managers, it is their employees who often interact with them most frequently. When all members of a team are valued for their work and abilities, it seems natural that employees offer feedback to their managers without fear of retaliation. 

Plus, good managers desire feedback. And research shows it actually improves skill that develops stronger leaders. 

So how do you actually offer effective feedback to your manager? Here are 4 tips.

  • Choose the right time and place. Maybe don’t give the feedback on the day of a huge presentation, yeah? Or in a public workspace where others can overhear? Consider putting it on your manager’s calendar as a 20 minute check-in. This helps ensure your manager isn’t caught off guard and will be in a good headspace to hear your feedback
  • Give praise, too. Feedback shouldn’t be all negative. Remember to offer genuine praise of the aspects of your manager’s work that you find helpful, affirming, or that distinguishes them from others. 
  • Come with solutions. Don’t just present problems. Begin brainstorming solutions prior to offering feedback so there is opportunity to collaborate about a new, better way to move forward. This way, it feels less like a fault of the manager, and more like a problem that can be solved as a team. 
  • Don’t expect immediate change. Allow your manager time to soak up your feedback and think of positive ways to respond. Some feedback doesn’t have an easy fix. It may require time to find a solution and even longer to actually implement it. With this in mind, there is an opportunity to keep your manager accountable for the feedback you offered.

All employees need feedback–that includes managers. Give upward feedback a try–then tell us how it went in the comments. 

Do you give your manager feedback? What are your best tips for giving upward feedback?  

About Abby

Abby Siegel Hyman is the Marketing + PR Manager at Amber Hurdle Consulting, and is a dual master’s graduate student at Vanderbilt University. She is the proud mom of the goldendoodle Willie–one of the office dog cheerleaders that keeps AHC innovative and engaged. Connect with Abby on LinkedIn

Amber Hurdle Consulting is a multi-award-winning talent optimization firm that pioneers using both science and marketing principles to solve these problems by strengthening your brand from the inside out. As a Predictive Index (PI) Certified Partner, we teach you how to generate and use real data in the form of people analytics, and then we sit on your bench as analytics experts, bringing along almost 20 years of branding, marketing and public relations experience. With these tools, we partner with you to design a compelling internal relations strategy featuring three key areas:

#1 We work with your leaders on their personal brands, so they increase self awareness and see and harvest the greatness in others. 

#2 We teach you to use a scientific, repeatable method to recruit, retain and inspire top talent, elevating your culture while crafting a world-class employer brand. 

#3 We then help you leverage strong leaders and a “best places to work” environment so that happy employees are serving happy customers…ultimately elevating your business brand.


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