In my former life, I worked for a company that had an upward feedback program. The program was anonymous and every employee had the ability to give the feedback to any person they had worked with at their level or at levels above. This was done once a year and the survey results were given to the employee online. There were a handful of people who used this as an opportunity to slam a supervisor, to make unprofessional comments, or to vent. But for the most part, it was a constructive exercise and employees were able to have their opinions heard.
My role was to educate employees about ways to give solid, constructive feedback to their supervisors:
- Choosing language to get the point across in the most effective way
- Encouraging the behaviors they appreciated
- Nudging supervisors to tweak behaviors that were less desirable
There were many specifics to the actual plan and how the information was used internally. The point is that I wish more companies would offer and encourage this type of feedback. This is one critical component in engaging your workforce. By giving them a voice in a safe, confidential way, you’re encouraging them to help make their work situation better.
Do you work for a company that offers upward feedback? What are the pros and cons that you’ve experienced?