Using Google’s Insights To Get Better Upward Feedback

Here is a brief excerpt from an article by David Crewman for Halogen Software’s TalentSpace blog. To read the complete article, check out others, learn more about the firm, and sign up for email alerts, please click here.

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When we talk about ongoing performance conversations we almost always think of the manager giving feedback to employees. But if you can build in a way for managers to also get feedback from employees, your performance conversations become a true dialogue that benefits both parties. This two-way communication is the heart of ongoing performance management – a process that helps employees achieve their goals, and in the process, help the company thrive.

However, it can be tricky for employees to give feedback to managers. To create a productive conversation, you need to structure it so that it’s easy, feels safe and produces useful results.

Focusing the conversation on specific topics

Rather than tell managers to ask for generic feedback, or demand that they invent their own questions, you can give them specific suggestions on topics you know are relevant. You can find some great ideas for these questions from Google, which set up a team to find out what makes a good manager.

Three important things Google identifies are:

o Managers should provide specific, constructive feedback.
o Managers should empower their team and give stretch assignments.
o Manages should express interest in employees’ well-being and make new folks feel welcome.

These can easily be turned into questions managers can use to get feedback:

o Is there anything I could start doing to ensure you get more specific, constructive feedback?
o What kind of stretch assignment should I give you in the future?
o Is there anything I could do to make our next wave of new hires feel welcome?

Making the conversation safe and comfortable

You may have noticed that I used a trick from executive coach Marshall Goldsmith on structuring the questions: The questions are about the future not the past.

Instead of having managers ask the uncomfortable question, “How well did I give you specific, constructive feedback?”, we encourage them to ask for suggestions on how they could do it better in the future.

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Here is a direct link to the complete article.

David Creelman is CEO of Creelman Research. If you are interested in helping your organization embrace the future of HR; whether it be by improving your capability in HR analytics or by learning to navigate the gig economy, then get in touch here or simply stay connected via LinkedIn.

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