How managers can improve the quality of feedback they offer

I know the answer even before I ask a group this question:

“Does anyone here get too much feedback at work?”

The reply, amid snickers and eye rolls, is “No.”

No matter who is in my audience, from employees to supervisors, there’s a shared belief that feedback is in short supply.

Gallup’s recent “State of the American Workplace” report confirms that sentiment. In its surveys on workplace engagement, Gallup asked employees if they’ve received positive feedback for good work in the last seven days or had a conversation about their progress in the last six months. Again, the answer often comes up as “No.”

Gallup found that 70 percent of U.S. employees are disengaged. Many simply go through the motions, while others actively undermine the operation. That’s a huge problem.

Some workplace problems are expensive to fix — technology upgrades, understaffing, massive retraining. But providing feedback is FREE!

I don’t apologize for that all-caps shout. I’m a raving evangelist for feedback because I know the power it can have to improve the quality of work, the workplace and the lives of people on the job. Gallup even offers data thatconnects feedback to employee engagement and engagement to a betterbottom line.

In my book, “Work Happy: What Great Bosses Know,” I outline strategies for effective feedback of all kinds and help managers build a feedback tool kit. Feedback for effective performance management has become one of the most requested topics that I teach and write about. I take that as a very good sign that supervisors are aware they’re responsible for closing the feedback gap.

(This is an excerpt from Jill Geisler’s post on June 25, 2013 at Click the link or go to for more information about Jill and this great book.)


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