This feedback may be welcome, unwelcome, solicited, or unsolicited, but nonetheless, it should be treated in a particular way and should almost always be responded to. For many managers, it is not always known how to appropriately respond to feedback that they receive from employees, and because it can be sensitive, they want to do so correctly.
This is normal and expected, particularly in new managers. Read on to gain a better understanding of how to correctly respond to set the stage for more useful and applicable feedback in the year to come.
How to Appropriately Respond to Employee Feedback
Treat feedback like a gift – as the saying goes, feedback is a gift
Even if it doesn’t always initially feel that way. While sometimes feedback can be harsh and not always what we want to hear, it’s important to view it from the perspective that it is something to be grateful for. Because it is meant to help your company evolve and improve and speaks to your personal evolution as well, it is something to be yearned for and appreciated, even in the times it is less than positive.
Approaching it with a sense of gratitude and realizing that it is nothing more than an opportunity for improvement can help you shape your reply to be as useful as possible.
Don’t respond right away
When you receive feedback, don’t feel as though you need to automatically reply. Even if you receive it in person, you are more than allowed to take some time to process what the person is saying. While processing it, you should think about the following questions:
Is the feedback true? What are examples I can think of that support the claim?
What should I do differently? Why didn’t I recognize this on my own?
Having a logical thought process surrounding the feedback and putting yourself in the giver’s shoes can assist in understanding their perspective better and connecting with the positive outcomes that receiving this feedback can give. This will prevent an emotional reaction to what you just heard.
Ask questions surrounding the feedback
To fully understand the feedback you are given, it’s vital to ask the right questions. For instance, you can ask for examples that support the feedback as a clarifying question to ensure you fully understand what the person is saying.
You should also probe into how the person thinks you can improve from where you are, how long they have noticed what they are pointing out, and what areas it most affects. Having all of these answers in front of you will help to identify where to go next and will help you notice these things going forward.
How a PEO Can Help
Receiving harsh feedback is never easy, but how you respond to it will dictate how often it is given in the future. PEOs can help you encourage employees to give you honest reviews in order to ensure growth and personal development, both of which are vital to the success of your business.