Upward Feedback (sometimes referred to as 180 degree feedback) focuses on managerial effectiveness and performance based on the reviews of their employees via anonymous surveys and questionnaires. By allowing employees to give their management feedback, it shows the importance a company places on the ongoing development of their leaders. While it can be a bitter pill to swallow, through continuous assessments, managers can identify areas they need to improve as leaders.
As an employee, it can difficult giving feedback to your boss. However, like anyone else you work with, it's important they understand their strengths and weaknesses. Often you will see your manager in a variety of settings (client meetings, presentations, one-on-ones, negotiations, etc), so it's especially important for them to know their key skills and weak areas as a leader. Often employees feel that they are putting their jobs or work relationships at risk by giving their managers feedback, but if it's done correctly it can be very beneficial and can improve your relationship with your manager.
Here are some tips for effectively giving your manager upward feedback:
Be open to feedback
The onus of giving feedback depends on the relationship you have your manager. If the company is focused on the ongoing development of its leaders, then the manager should be open to receiving feedback from his/her colleagues. If you know your manager is unlikely to be receptive to feedback, its creates an environment that does not nurture growth and team moral. It’s important to reflect this trait when giving your manager feedback. State that they do not receive feedback well, and it's something they need to improve, by either seeking advice from their colleagues or from other managers around them.
Take the time to think about the feedback
If a manager review is scheduled, set time aside to really understand what feedback you wish to give your manager. Think about the decisions the manager made over the year, the implications of those decisions and the outcomes. Make the feedback as constructive as possible and give concrete examples of the times when you thought he/she made a good decision or an incorrect decision. Try to give holistic feedback, in other words, feedback around a certain number skills and competencies (communication skills, teamwork skills, etc)
Don't be afraid to ask questions
If you need to give feedback and you don’t feel you have all the information to give feedback, don’t be afraid to ask a few questions. If you’re manager is asking for broad feedback, ask him/her to narrow it down abit. For example, a feedback question like “Was I a good leader” is far too broad to give effective answers. You could say, could you clarify which task you wish to receive feedback about “being a good leader”.
For more tips and techniques about giving/receiving upward feedback please visit how managers get upward feedback from their team.