15 Employee Feedback Best Practices for Managers 

Employee feedback is crucial for employee motivation, engagement and productivity. Giving feedback for employees’ work is not an option anymore. It is something that employees expect from their leaders.

October 18, 2019 By Kristina Martic Share on Twitter! Share on Facebook! Share on LinkedIn!
employee feedback for managers

Employee feedback is crucial for employee motivation, engagement and productivity. Giving feedback for employees’ work is not an option anymore. It is something that employees expect from their leaders.  

Why Employee Feedback is Crucial for Business Success? 

A lot of research has been done on the impact of employee feedback on business success. Even though the benefits are obvious, 65% of employees say that they want more feedback on their work 

💡 Check out 6 reasons why employee recognition is crucial for business success


employees want more feedback

In addition, 68% of employees who receive accurate and consistent feedback feel fulfilled in their jobs. 

So here is why you should make employee feedback your business priority. 

employee feedback benefits

1. Employee feedback increases employee engagement 

Increasing employee engagement is the number one goal for every organization that focuses on continuous business growth 

This is not surprising as employee engagement has a direct impact on employee productivity. 

In fact, a Gallup survey found that 67% of employees whose managers who give positive feedback were fully engaged in their work. 

2. Employee feedback lowers turnover 

Employee feedback is crucial for employee retention. As the cost of employee turnover is significant, many companies now see the opportunity to lower turnover rates by implementing continuous employee feedback programs.  

Retaining tech talent is especially hard, and many employers are not aware that, besides challenging work, developers need recognition as well.

A research has shown that companies with regular employee feedback have 14.9% lower turnover rates than companies that don’t.  

employee feedback and turnover

3. Employee feedback improves employee productivity 

We all know that employee engagement is the most important prerequisite to increasing employee productivity 

However, we cannot expect from our employees to be productive if we don’t help them understand what they are doing right or where there is room for improvement.  

Like in private lives, our motivation is often driven by employee recognition or positive feedback. The same counts for employees in your workplace.  

4. Employee feedback helps employee’s growth 

Millennials and younger generations want to grow their careers and develop new skills.  

When employees are asked about what motivates them to stay with their employers 

  • 39% say it’s the opportunity for career growth 
  • 32% say opportunity to develop new skills 

Therefore, managers should see feedback as one of the tools to help their employees grow their careers and gain new or improve their current skills.  

5. Employee feedback influences company culture 

Companies that encourage feedback have healthier organizational cultures. Feedback enables people to connect with each other and build trust.  

There are still a lot of employees that say that don’t trust their employers, and this lack of trust is often the biggest barrier to continuous company growth.  

Feedback creates a culture of trust and transparency. In addition, a study from McKinsey showed that clear, transparent corporate communication among employees can help boost productivity by as much as 25%. 

6. Innovation and Creativity 

Continuous innovation, or more appropriately continuous change, is required for enterprises to succeed and grow in the current business environment. 

Companies and leaders need to focus on innovators not just innovationPeople matter, so get their insights. Innovation lies in the people, and it requires a two-way dialogue to not only generate the creative concepts but bridge the gap between idea and execution. 

Here, employee feedback plays a very important role. Managers should be the ones encouraging employees to innovate by giving them feedback and creating two-way dialogues.  

15 Best Practices for Giving Feedback to Employees 

Giving constructive feedback is not easy. However, one of the biggest characteristics of good leadership is the tendency to provide continuous feedback to employees.  

Here is our list of employee feedback best practices for managers and leaders to follow. 

1. Set clear goals and give constructive feedback 

Setting clear goals comes even before giving feedback to employees. Setting clear goals and expectations is crucial for employees’ success.  

This is an absolute prerequisite to constructive feedback and performance management efforts.  

In fact, performance management is often a source of great frustration for employees who do not clearly understand their goals or what is expected of them at work. 

Gallup has discovered that clarity of expectations is perhaps the most basic of employee needs and is vital to performance.  

In addition, great managers don’t just tell employees what’s expected of them and leave. Instead, they frequently talk with employees about their responsibilities and progress. They don’t save those critical conversations for once-a-year performance reviews. 

2. Do it continuously 

Forget about annual or even quarterly feedback and reviews. Today, employee expect instant feedback from their managers 

In fact, 43% of highly engaged employees get feedback on a weekly basis.  

weekly employee feedback stats

Therefore, organizations needed to change the whole system of how and when employees receive their feedback. 

It is essential for managers to provide effective and timely feedback on employee performance. Continuous short cycles of feedback can revitalize your whole workforce.

That is why many organizations are successfully changing their annual reviews to a continuous feedback process.  

3. Explain the impact of employees’ work 

One of the biggest reasons why employees leave their employers is because they don’t feel like they contribute to business success 

Unfortunately, managers don’t put enough effort into explaining what employee’s work means and bring to the overall performance of the organization.  

At the end of the day, who doesn’t like to feel important? 

4. Enable employees to request feedback 

Employees should be able to request feedback from their managers and peers when they need it. Often times, instant feedback is crucial for better employee performance.  

Without it, employees may feel frustrated about having to wait for their annual or quarterly reviews.  

5. It’s not only about performance 

Giving feedback only based on KPIs and achieved results is not a good approach. Something that we see more often than ever is feedback and recognition based on certain behaviors 

💡 Check out these ideas for employee recognition

In the world of digital transformation, change management, agile and organizational restructuring, it is common for companies to struggle with embedding new behaviors into their employees.  

Therefore, giving positive feedback when those new behaviors are adopted is crucial for success.  

6. Focus on the positives 

Many leaders tend to give feedback only in situations when something went wrong.  Sometimes, this approach can have nothing but negative impact and outcomes. 

Gallup‘ s research discovered that building employees’ strengths by giving them positive feedback is  far more effective than focusing on fixing weaknesses.  

Moreover, Gallup did a survey that found that 67% of employees whose managers focused on their strengths were fully engaged, as compared to only 31% of employees whose managers focused on their weaknesses. 

positive employee feedback stats

7. Activate your managers 

Relationships with managers influence employee satisfaction and engagement. To add, employees are 2x more likely to be actively disengaged when they are ignored by their managers.  

Gallup’s research shows that managers account for at least 70% of variance in employee engagement scores. Given the troubling state of employee engagement today, it makes sense that most managers are not creating environments in which employees feel motivated. 

employee engagement is manager's responsibility

Another Gallup study of 7,272 U.S. adults revealed that one in two had left their job to get away from their manager to improve their overall life. 

Shocking isn’t it? 

8. Choose the right technology 

Continuous and constructive feedback has become almost impossible without the right technology. Employee feedback technology solutions are designed to streamline the process, make it more efficient, fun and easy to do.  

Yet, many leaders say that they don’t have the right technology to give constructive and timely feedback.

Modern technology for employee feedback should enable both employees and managers to give feedback, request feedback and encourage peer-to-peer feedback. It should have a user-friendly interface and be completely user-friendly as these features drive better user adoption.  

9. Don’t forget to reward 

Positive feedback should sometimes be accompanied with recognition and rewards. Depending on what motivates your people, these can be monetary or non-monetary rewards.  

In fact, many employees prefer non-monetary over monetary rewards as recognition for their work.  

You would be surprised with how much a simple “thank you” can do to your organizational culture and employee engagement 

10. Listen to your employees and build trust 

A Harvard Business Review survey found that while 58% of people trust strangers, only 42% trust their own boss 

leadership trust

Practicing regular feedback instills praise and constructive criticism as a regular part of the work environment, so employees feel more comfortable and open to giving and receiving feedback. 

Feedback should go both ways and employees should be comfortable and free to speak up.  

 A productive workplace is one in which people feel safe to experiment, challenge, to share information and to support one another. These are the types of workplaces where team members are prepared to give the manager and their organization the benefit of the doubt.  

11. Encourage peer-to-peer feedback 

Peer-to-peer feedback can be extremely powerful. It is the biggest driver of teamwork and collaboration within organizations.  

Moreover, research has proved that peer-to-peer feedback and recognition can be more efficient than manager only recognition.   

Therefore, manager-to-employee feedback is not enough anymore and managers should encourage their teams to give feedback to one another. 

12. Meet face-to-face 

The highest employee engagement levels can be achieved only when communication happens on a daily basis and is consistent.  

However, giving feedback only in a digital way is not enough.  

In its research, Gallup found that managers who use a combination of face-to-face, phone and electronic communication are the most successful in engaging employees. 

13. Make it less formal 

Formal can get boring. So if you don’t want your reviews to be boring, make them less formal on-the-spot and more practical.  

80% of Gen Y said they prefer on-the-spot recognition and feedback over formal reviews. 

employees prefer on the spot feedback

14. Measure the impact of feedback 

Many organizations that have implemented continuous employee feedback efforts are not sure about how to measure the impact of it 

Firstly, you need to understand why feedback was implemented in the first place. Is it low employee engagement? Is it low productivity? Is it low employee satisfaction?  

Once you know challenges, it is easier to measure the impact of changes that are being implemented. For example, if you know the employee engagement score before feedback, you can easily measure the engagement a few months after the implementation.  

15. Don’t just ask. Act! 

The worst thing you can do is get feedback from your employees and then not act on it. This can be very discouraging to employees and have a very negative impact on employee engagement.  

Therefore, if you are not ready to change things up based on your employees’ feedback, better don’t ask 

Steps to Implement a Successful Employee Feedback Program 

If you are considering implementing an employee feedback initiative at your company, you should follow these steps. 

  1. Identify challenges– which challenges can employee feedback help you eliminate? 
  2. Identify goals– what are you expecting to achieve with employee feedback? 
  3. Identify resources needed– how much workforce and other resources will you need to implement the program? 
  4. Choose the right technology– how will you choose the technology that has the most potential to help you achieve your goals? 
  5. Communicate internally– How will you implement and communicate the initiative to the whole organization? 
  6. Measure and improve– How will you measure the results of the new initiative and improve accordingly? 

Continuous Employee Feedback with FeedBck 

Employee feedback initiatives don’t always work, and one of the biggest reasons for that is wrong technology.  

FeedBck is a continuous employee feedback solution that has helped companies across the world plan and implement new employee feedback initiatives or improve their existing programs. 

With FeedBck employees can easily get or ask for feedback from their managers or peers. It is mobile-friendly and designed to drive employee engagement.  

To see how FeedBck can help you drive culture of feedback at your organization, schedule a demo today! 


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