How to be an engaging manager

Handle and respond to staff feedback


Seeking and responding to feedback from employees is vital to building a strong relationship with them. The way managers handle feedback has a major influence on employee engagement, trust and confidence. Try to keep the following points in mind.

Actively listen to staff feedback

If an employee gives you feedback let them raise their point. Don't cut across them. If their point is long winded, help conclude it by rephrasing it as you have interpreted it.

Body language when receiving staff feedback

When receiving staff feedback the way you behave is as important as how you respond. Maintain open body language and keep eye contact with the employee as they explain their point to you.

Understand the other person's perspective

Try to see the issue from the employee's point of view. Try to understand why they are concerned and don't be judgemental.

Don't let one person dominate feedback sessions

If you are inviting feedback from a group of staff members, on occasions, one person can dominate the discussion and others may be reluctant to speak in front of their colleagues. This may limit good quality suggestions coming to the fore. In order to counteract this and encourage feedback from more members of staff you could try to encourage feedback by email or staff sugestions boxes, especially if anonymity is important to your staff.

Don't rush to respond to staff feedback

Take a moment to consider what has been said and form you response - rather than giving a quick response you might regret. You might find it more constructive to address staff feedback in a written manner first and then follow up with face-to-face conversations with your staff to discuss further and allow your employees to seek further clarity and ask questions.

Be calm, clear and concise with your feedback response

If you find yourself waffling in your response to staff feedback, stop. Don't pretend to have answers if you don't know them - but commit to finding out and responding in due course.

If possible, find a way to end on a positive note. Sum up any agreements you have made. Check that everyone has the same understanding. Be positive where possible and highlight any next steps.