Common challenges

You Can Dish It, but Can You Take It? Handling Feedback from Your Employees

May 16, 2019

Leaders must constantly communicate feedback to employees on performance, behaviour, attitude, or work habits, under the expectation they will make improvements. Occasionally, you might hear begrudging complaints or have an employee who’s completely defensive about your feedback, but feedback, if done right, is one of the most constructive ways we can provide others with suggestions and ways to make things better, or different, than they currently are.

In a leadership position, you’re normally the one providing feedback, but what happens when an employee wants to turn the tables and give you some feedback of their own? It’s not only important to provide feedback to others, but to be open to feedback from your employees as well. This can help you monitor aspects of your team like engagement, satisfaction, and any concerns in the workplace you might not be aware of.

Employees might not be as tactful when explaining their thoughts, meaning their feedback could come across as a direct result of how you do things, how you treat them, your demeanour, or even a personal issue with you. But, if you’re not willing to accept feedback from your employees, they might not be as motivated to implement any feedback that you provide to them, and this could lead to unhappy and unengaged employees.

Feedback can be given in many forms, some of which can catch you off guard. Sometimes, employees will request a meeting to discuss their issues, but other times you may not have time to prepare. It also may not be negative feedback; sometimes employees will take time to provide positive feedback. It’s still important to be mindful of how you respond in these situations and grateful for the appreciation. No matter the situation, good or bad, how you handle it can affect the relationship with the employee.

Although getting specific feedback about yourself might not be something you’re used to and can even feel uncomfortable, hearing out your employees could uncover underlying issues that you may need to improve. But how can you professionally and tactfully receive feedback when it’s about you? Download our FREE Guide to Receiving Employee Feedback for tips on how to handle harsh, unexpected, or concerning employee feedback.

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