How to Improve Employee Feedback

5 min. read

How you give and receive employee feedback can be a key factor in their satisfaction and happiness. Learn what companies are it doing right and wrong.

Why are employee reviews so often dreaded by both the managers and the employees? It’s because the outdated yearly review process adds unnecessary tension, anxiety, and workload to a process that should actually be beneficial. If you’re looking for how to improve employee feedback, then you’re taking an essential first step in turning their responses into something more positive for everyone in your company.

Above all else, make giving and receiving feedback safe by setting a regular, low-pressure meeting with each team member. Set weekly or monthly meetings that are presented as a "Check-in" or "Support Meeting." Leaders start these meetings with a simple "How is it going?" and move to "Is there anything you need that I can help with?" or "How are you feeling about your current work?" Sometimes these meetings lead to a light personal conversation, or sometimes they resolve something that has been a challenge for the employee. Whatever the approach, the most important thing is to create a predictable, safe place and time to exchange feedback.

Here are four other steps on how to improve employee feedback:

Institute a Policy of Giving Feedback Right Away.

When you give feedback in real-time, instead of waiting three months for an employee’s review to come up, several things happen:

  • First, you’re giving the employee a chance to have an honest conversation with you about what happened. Long after the fact, many people will not clearly remember the details of the incident and do not have a legitimate chance to learn from a conversation about it. When you immediately discuss something negative with an employee, you both benefit.

  • Second, quickly giving feedback can end a problem that could spiral into a much bigger issue if you wait. Why wait six weeks when you and the employee can address an area of concern right away? Likewise, if employees feel comfortable giving or asking for feedback in the short term, your work experience can improve alongside theirs.

Keep Emotions Out of it.

It’s essential to give feedback from a place of genuinely looking to improve the workplace and relationships, from both management and the employee’s side. This is not about you vs them; instead, this is about working together towards common goals. If you or the employee needs a little time before discussing an incident, agree to go out for coffee later that afternoon. Ensure the employee knows their personality is not under attack. The feedback is about about how things are done at work, not about the person themselves, not about the person themselves.

Pick the Right Environment.

Make sure you are in private if you need to give negative feedback to an employee. When improving employee feedback, focus on creating a confidential and somewhat informal atmosphere.

While we encourage you to give feedback as quickly as possible, this does not mean at the expense of the employee’s privacy. For example, if an incident happens with others present, wait until after the meeting or when you and the employee can speak one-on-one.

No good comes from criticizing an employee in front of others; this only makes all parties uncomfortable. Feedback is best given and received when it’s a conversation and not a lecture. You’re more likely to have a productive discussion by providing you and your employee privacy.

Ensure Feedback Goes Both Ways.

Feedback FROM employees is just as important as feedback TO employees. When thinking about how to improve employee feedback, remember that soliciting employee advice can make a substantial difference in a few ways:

  • First, you may learn things you would not otherwise have realized as a manager. No one is perfect, and everyone can benefit from feedback.

  • Second, it may give you insights into how happy your employees are. Finding ways to increase employees’ happiness can help you retain your best talent, recruit new team members, and boost your company's reputation.

Amazing Workplace can help you achieve higher profits, improved financial performance, increased growth, and a higher stock price, all while ensuring greater employee satisfaction. We’ve got tools that can give you insights into how your employees feel, what feedback they have for you, and how you can improve your workplace. In addition to getting and receiving direct feedback, ask for a demo of our tools to find out how much more you can learn.