How to Deliver Effective Feedback in One-on-One Meetings

How to Deliver Effective Feedback in One-on-One Meetings

Feedback plays a critical part in employee engagement, performance, and ultimately, retention. In fact, companies that invest in regular employee feedback have almost 15 percent lower turnover rates than ones that don’t.

So how can managers give employees effective feedback, and vice versa? We joined 15Five, Blueboard, and Pyn last week to share some tips.

In case you missed the webinar, here are our top takeaways:

Treat Manager-Employee Relationships As Partnerships

The key to building a strong manager-employee relationship is treating it as a partnership. Of course, managers oversee their direct reports and assign them tasks and projects, but delivering and receiving feedback should be a two-way street. Being open to “upwards feedback” helps managers lay down a foundation of trust, support, and respect on their team. Treating these relationships as partnerships also makes employees more receptive to feedback–especially if it’s negative.

Make One-on-Ones a Safe Space

Employees are more likely to receive feedback well and give managers “upwards feedback” during one-on-ones if they feel like it’s a safe space. Managers should remember that these meetings are for employees, too, and encourage them to share what’s on their mind. To give them the opportunity to do so, consider kicking off these calls by asking employees how they’re doing and if there is anything in particular they’d like to talk about. Whether it’s a deadline they may need pushed back or a roadblock they’re encountering, employees will feel more comfortable opening up if they know that one-on-ones are a confidential, safe space.

Remember That Employees Are People, Too

It’s easy to get into our own heads when giving feedback to employees. But one of the most important things you can do, especially when giving constructive feedback, is remember that your employees are human, too. The idea that “employees shouldn’t take feedback personally” shouldn’t be the mindset, because, well, feedback is personal. Take it as an opportunity to show compassion as a manager, and if an employee shows emotion, take a moment to be caring and empathetic. Consider giving the feedback, offering them time to digest it, and then meeting again when they feel more ready to speak. When giving feedback, also ensure that it is timely and uses concrete examples and context.

Be You

Look, we can give you advice all day on how to give feedback, but you know yourself and your direct reports better than anyone else. So remember: deliver feedback the way you think you should, not the way someone may tell you to. For example, the way your boss gives you feedback shouldn’t dictate the way you give your direct reports feedback. Take into consideration your personality and the personalities of your employees and offer feedback in a way that feels genuine. It will hit home more smoothly in this way.

Have a Personal Board of Directors

Companies have Boards of Directors for a reason; they help keep checks and balances, offer advice, and overall be a sounding board for company leadership. You can implement this idea in your own life, too. Have someone (or even better, a group of people) who you can discuss feedback opportunities with (whether it be feedback you’re given or feedback you’ve received). While bosses and coworkers can be great for this, it’s even better if your “person” is outside the company, so you can also feel safe sharing with them.

Looking for more ways to strengthen the manager-employee relationships at your company? Download our latest ebook, Tips, Tricks & Strategies for Strengthening the Manager-Employee Relationship.

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