Carol, an HR officer, got feedback when she was conducting exit interviews with 2 employees who were leaving the firm from the same department; the communications department.
The issues they highlighted were leading to the same thing, they had an unapproachable bad boss. He was a micromanager and did not communicate or give clear expectations of what they were supposed to do and as a result, often got frustrated. He kept shouting at them which made the environment toxic.
As a result, their performance was affected. They were not productive and most kept missing work or reporting to work late. There were missed deadlines and the stress levels were high affecting their morale. There were also rumors that other employees were leaving.
Carol was finding it difficult to relay feedback to the said manager because he had more years of experience, was at the organization longer and was the head of communications in the East Africa region.
She was worried about how to go about it and how it would be received considering she was less experienced but what she did not realize was that it was an opportunity to show her leadership skills and her expertise in her role.
No matter someone’s position in an organization, it is important for HR to offer their expertise to ensure things are working well in the organization to see to business success.
Giving feedback to people in higher positions is crucial as most are managing a team of staff and you act as a bridge between the staff and management.
Here are some tips to deliver feedback to managers more senior than you;
1. Practice Confidence;
As HR, your focus is to always support employees and the management.
It is important to listen to someone with experience as they provide valuable insight, especially during challenging times.
But also remember that you are also an expert in what you do so when giving your opinion, do not sell yourself short and stand firm.
2. Know How to Communicate Effectively
For instance, if Carol had prepared well to know what specific message to deliver to the said manager, it would have made the process much easier.
How we say things, what we say, the medium we use to communicate and the time we say it, matters.
It is also important to be careful with your non-verbal communication and your tone and keep it professional no matter the nature of feedback. Be clear about the message you want to pass and remove personal feelings from the conversation.
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3. Give And Take Feedback
Consider giving timely feedback to address an issue as soon as you can, even though it may not be easy to deliver feedback as sometimes it may not always be good feedback.
Ensuring you listen and also ask follow-up questions and feedback is important as it is also an opportunity for you to learn from the managers’ experiences and understand why they approached a certain situation in a certain way.
4. Respect the Manager’s Experiences and The Value They Bring
It is crucial to show respect to these managers and their experience, opinion and expertise.
It is also important to remember that these people are in their positions for a reason and they bring value to the business and thus what they have to say matters.
Listen to their reasons for their decisions before offering your expertise. It helps you deal with any situation from an informed angle.
5. Manage Upwards and Across
Building relationships and establishing trust with colleagues and management is important to ease the process of feedback. It helps make the process of influencing much easier.
For instance, if Carol had made it a habit to schedule meetings regularly to make conversations and get feedback as part of building a relationship with the said manager, it would have made it a bit easier to provide feedback instead of waiting for something to happen.
It is important for HR to give feedback to not only employees but also to the management of the organization as it helps them make informed decisions for the overall business success and a healthy work environment.
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