Manager Feedback Examples and How To Use Them to Get an Edge

Feedback seems like it only travels from the top down: manager to employee. That’s the way it’s always been, right?

Well, in the modern workplace, constructive feedback that travels from employee to manager is equally as important. It doesn’t matter whether it’s positive feedback or negative feedback. It’s more about the idea of creating a circle of trust and transparency.

The major problem with manager feedback is that the company culture needs to embrace and promote such conversation. That isn’t easy from any perspective. But even if open discussion is part of a company, many employees still feel apprehensive to impart their suggestions and ideas.

If you work for a company that wants you to provide feedback, use it as an opportunity to share praise, offer recommendations, and leverage opportunities. It may seem difficult at first, so use these manager feedback examples to get started.

Why Is Manager Feedback Important?

Manager feedback in a one-on-one meeting

The importance of manager feedback should seem obvious. You provide your concerns, recognition, and areas to improve upon for the betterment of the manager and the company. It seems reasonable at a glance.

Beyond these conspicuous ideas, however, honest feedback to managers can provide a number of other benefits for employees, managers, and the company alike. Here are some of the advantages of speaking your mind.

Improve the Employee Experience

Even if you’re not a leader or manager within your company, providing effective feedback can have a waterfall effect on your colleagues. You can single-handedly inspire others to voice their opinions, as well as act as a liaison between management and your coworkers.

If management is willing to have a feedback conversation, you’re speaking on behalf of your cohorts — something that can have positive ramifications for everyone else.

Promote Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Diversity, equity, and inclusion — or DEI — has been somewhat of a buzzword in management for the past few years. However, its importance cannot be understated. Through DEI, employees of all races, genders, and ethnicities feel a sense of belonging.

DEI initiatives can promote this type of belonging, but it’s not a foolproof system. Feedback from employees is an essential part of the process. For the sake of the whole team, you should offer feedback from your point of view by providing specific examples. By doing so, you improve the well-being of your entire team and boost morale, all while promoting a worthy cause in the workplace.

Build Trust

Just like communication, trust goes both ways. Managers need to trust their team to complete tasks or projects and employees need to trust their managers to have faith in a vision.

Many different aspects go into the idea of building trust, but feedback is one of the most important. Through constructive criticism and feedback, trust thrives in a working relationship. Your manager respects your opinions, and you feel empowered to speak out. It’s a mutually advantageous bond that only occurs if you learn how to use feedback correctly.

5 Useful and Applicable Manager Feedback Examples

Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, outspoken or shy, giving feedback isn’t as easy as it sounds. In some cases, you may find that you can’t find the words, even when you’re given the chance.

Rehearsing and knowing just what you’re going to say can ease this tension. If you’re unsure of what to say or how to say it, these manager feedback examples can provide a valuable template for communicating your concerns and praise.

1. I’m Getting Burned Out From Work

Work environments have changed drastically in recent years with a movement toward hybrid and fully remote employment. The inability to unplug has become well-documented — it’s hard to leave the office when it’s just a few steps away. This can lead to overwork, burnout, and a diminished ability to lead a beneficial work-life balance.

Yet even in traditional offices, burnout is a real thing. By providing feedback about your workload and your mental health as a result, you’re spinning negativity into something that’s rectifiable. You should also discuss employee morale, and if other people are feeling the same way you are. Hopefully, this brings forth a change in your workload at present or in the near future.

2. I Feel Like I Don’t Have Enough Autonomy

Micromanaging is something that even the best managers do from time to time. It’s not that they don’t trust you; it’s that outside forces or upper management are monitoring their performance. This, in turn, trickles down to individual or team performance sliding under the microscope.

Instead of addressing this issue in a negative light, put forward the idea that you just want more freedom in your job. You never say “micromanaging,” and you never point any fingers. You simply state that you want your hard work to pay off, but you want to do it at your own pace. Managers are more likely to give you the autonomy you want.

3. I Want To Work on My Professional Development

No one wants to feel like they’re at a dead-end job. However, some organizations don’t readily advertise professional development opportunities. If you’re not sure where to turn or how to make yourself a candidate for a promotion, just provide a more subtle type of feedback.

Discuss how you want to move up in the company or build your leadership skills, but you’re not sure where to start. Constructive feedback examples could include talking about how the company should do more to advertise its opportunities and how to make them more accessible whether it’s through mentoring or by reaching out to human resources.

In this manager feedback example, going the extra mile may push you into consideration for the job you want in the first place. At the very least, you’ll get the professional support you desire.

4. I Don’t Feel Valued

Not feeling a sense of value in your company is often the direct result of oversight. Employee recognition should be part of all businesses, but sometimes, your accomplishments may seem thankless.

If you’re going to give a solid employee feedback example, simply say you don’t feel valued. You’re not insinuating that you need recognition based on your employee performance, but you’re also being firm with your feelings. You can back this up by having a conversation about the link between employee engagement, morale, and motivation.

Through this comment, you can discover if the company cares about its team members or if you’re spinning your wheels. It’s an eye-opening experience that can help you decide about your future with the organization.

5. Constructive Criticism

Constructive criticism varies in every situation, but the goal remains the same: to make your manager better at what they do while also improving the company and worker morale.

Whether your manager has problems with time management, communication skills, team meetings, problem-solving, performance management, or onboarding new employees, feedback meetings are the perfect time to voice your opinion in a constructive manner.

Be frank, but don’t come out of the gate with accusatory or negative commentary. Discuss their positive attributes and work your way into constructive criticism. Think of it as problem-solving skills that both of you can work on together.

How To Give Manager Feedback

Employee giving a manager feedback

Tact and timing are two critical aspects of giving employee feedback to managers. The manager feedback examples listed above can give you something to think about, but how and when you deliver the information can make the difference between change and your suggestions falling on deaf ears.

So rather than speaking your mind right when a problem arises, use these tips to communicate your ideas in a sensible fashion.

Embrace Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is often cited as an important quality for managers. However, it’s equally as important for employees, especially when they’re giving upward feedback. The basic concepts of emotional intelligence include:

  • Empathy
  • Self-awareness
  • Active listening
  • Sociability

Using emotional intelligence, you can give your manager feedback examples while also soaking in the rebuttal or other information given to you. Remember that it’s a two-way conversation, and listening serves you well when providing critical feedback.

Time Your Approach

Feedback automatically elicits a defensive approach; it’s human nature. Even if it’s necessary or requested by management, selecting the right time is integral.

First off, avoid giving feedback when your manager seems stressed or overwhelmed with a new project. Adding anything else to their plate isn’t constructive; it’s much the opposite.

If you want to provide feedback, wait for the right moment or schedule it ahead of time. A regular check-in, one-on-one meeting, or performance review are the optimal times to provide feedback. It also gives you time to reflect on what you want to say instead of acting on impulse or in the heat of the moment.

Start With Gratitude

Giving constructive feedback or criticism shouldn’t start with negativity out of the gate. It should start with positivity and work in a clear direction toward the feedback itself. Begin your feedback conversation by complimenting your manager on their aplomb or resourcefulness. You can also hearken back to a positive experience the two of you shared or another success in recent memory.

This shouldn’t necessarily be akin to groveling. It’s more like a respectful conversation between two colleagues or a reminiscence about a fond experience. This sets the tone for the entire meeting, so make sure to apply this tactful tip to garner the best results.

Company Culture: The Key To Manager Feedback

As an employee, you don’t create a company culture; you’re a product of it. But you can still do your part by providing feedback and constructive criticism when it’s due. You may not be able to change the inner workings and management style of the company, but at least you can voice your insight, concerns, and positives. Perhaps building a culture of feedback that embraces this idea is just the thing that you can bring up with your manager. It’s certainly worth the try.

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