Using surveys to provide feedback to a manager: How effective is this?

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This is the latest in a series of blog posts exploring how managers currently obtain feedback on their performance as people managers.  Employees would seem to have a lot of opinions and ideas for managers in this area.  The questions is – how do employees give feedback to a manager?   Previously, I explored the most common ways for managers to get feedback from their employees: “voting with your feet” and “tracking attrition rates.” I conclude that these don’t constitute performance feedback, because they are vague and delayed, rather than specific and immediate.

OK, so how about management surveys and 360 degree feedback?

Let’s take a look on how well these provide feedback to a manager.

Management Surveys: This is when an organization sends a survey to a manager’s employees (both direct reports and extended team) to rate the manager on a scale (say, 1 to 5) in relation to different areas a manager should have an impact.  You may find survey items such as:

“My manager creates an atmosphere of trust”

“My manager listens to my ideas”

“My manager communicates the organization strategy well”

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