The Top Tricks To Handling Negative Employee Feedback

1 min read
Feb 2, 2015

iStock_000044775084_LargeAsking for employee feedback is one of the best practice you can do as a manager. Regardless of how well you’re running the show, you’re bound to receive some negative words once in a while. And we agree, sometimes they’re difficult to deal with. But before you cut off the feedback line, take a look at these points from a recent study:

  • People who ask for feedback are the most effective leaders

  • People who are unwilling to ask for feedback ranked in the 17th percentile with their leadership effectiveness

So don’t throw in the towel just yet. Here are four tips you can use to better handle negative feedback:

  • Get clarification: Is it just a one-time situation? Or is this issue recurring? Get a better understanding of the issue by responding to the negative feedback. But do so privately (through email or private messaging) to ensure the respondent’s comfort.

  • Talk it out: If the employee is feeling comfortable enough, meet with them in person. Find out why they’re feeling that way and how it’s affecting their work—good chance other employees might be feeling the same too.

  • Elicit concrete examples: Has your employee been working an extra two hours every day for the past month? Perhaps they’ve been having trouble communicating a certain team. 

  • Act on it: Work with your employee to find a solution. That way, they know their feedback isn’t useless and that you actually care about your employees. Once they start seeing changes, more employees will be open to giving feedback.

When you ask for feedback, it’s only natural that you receive some negative responses. But the key is view the feedback as information—where you need to improve things. And by reacting to the feedback in a solution-oriented manner, you’re helping to create a positive work environment for your employees.


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