How to Get Supervisors to Give Performance Feedback

Performance FeedbackI just got this message about performance feedback from someone who has been reading my blogs:


Thanks for your tips. I don’t disagree with your comments. However, getting supervisors to provide and record regular coaching/feedback to their subordinates is easier said than done. Do you know of any software/techniques that allow supervisors to quickly record such events and that also allows the manager of the supervisor to monitor the supervisor’s performance in this area? Thanks. B

It’s a good question – particularly how to get supervisors to provide performance feedback. Here’s my response:

Hi B

There must be a whole range of software that facilitates the recording of feedback – don’t know of any but a google search could get you some interesting results!

I’m not sure that’s really your question though? Recording the outcomes from a feedback session is easy – any old piece of paper will do! I think your question is more about how to motivate supervisors to give performance feedback? If that’s the case then I think there are two approaches you can take (I would suggest taking both)

Performance Feedback and Performance Objectives

1. Make giving feedback a performance objective for the supervisors. You alluded to this in your question about how to monitor the supervisor’s performance (my idea being that you can’t monitor anything effectively if you haven’t first agreed what you’re monitoring against ie. a performance objective). Take a look at this blog ‘5 Ways to Motivate Your Managers to Manage Performance’ and this one ‘Example Objectives: Performance Management’ for some sample performance objectives for managers (and supervisors)

The value of Performance Feedback

2. Help the supervisor see the value of giving performance feedback. Take a look at his blog ‘Performance Management Gaps: Performance Feedback’ for some ideas. There’s also more on feedback HERE

Hope you find this helpful

Best wishes, Joan

And here’s B’s response:

Joan, Thanks so much for your reply. I think the idea of including giving feedback as an objective for anyone who supervises others is a good one which I’ll incorporate into our Performance Appraisal Cycle this year. I’ll check the other sources you mention below for additional ideas.

Summary: Performance Objectives and Performance Feedback

In my view the most effective way of encouraging supervisors (and managers) to give performance feedback is to agree ‘giving performance feedback’ as an objective. And yet, few managers I know of actually do this. Why is that?


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