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How to Give Effective Manager Feedback (+ 60 Examples)

Photo of Desislava Cholakova Desislava Cholakova 18 April 2024
Two businessmen talking

Everybody in your workplace deserves feedback—and that includes your managers.

Yes, we’re putting the shoe on the other foot. Your manager usually offers feedback, but now it’s their turn to receive it. More than 96% of employees believe regular feedback is critical to their work, and your managers are no different.

When done properly, providing feedback to your manager can help brighten their day, offer guidance in areas where they’re unsure, and make them feel valued and respected. In this Thankbox guide, we’ll provide tips on how to give effective manager feedback, along with some examples to get you started.

Let’s dive in.

Why is giving feedback to your managers important?

When you offer feedback to your manager, it has a trickle-down effect. Helping your managers feel good about themselves will remind them you’re all in it together. Conversely, managers who receive constructive criticism for their flaws will be more likely to perform better in the future.

Given accurate feedback, your manager can steer you in the right direction. Managers who know their weaknesses can organise a more productive work environment.

But let’s address the elephant in the room—too much negative feedback (even constructive) can easily lead to workplace resentment. An expression of gratitude from an employee to a manager can help:

  • Boost Morale and Engagement: When everyone feels valued, they feel more connected to the team and organisation.

  • Promote Professional Development: It allows managers to grow and improve in their roles, fostering a culture of continuous learning and adaptation.

A great way to strengthen the employee-manager bond is to offer thanks.

Thankbox Thank You Card Sample

With Thankbox, you can show gratitude as a team by sending your manager a group card. Your card can incorporate written messages, videos, photos, and even GIFs, so it's a terrific way to make your thank yous creative and authentic!

If you want to make your e-cards even more special, we also offer digital gift cards and flower delivery to accompany your kind words.

How to give feedback to your managers

Are you unsure how to give feedback to your managers? Don’t worry—we’ll show you how to prepare ahead of time so you aren’t lost on what to say and how to say it.

1. Prepare your feedback

Focus on specific instances or behaviours rather than generalising. Use objective language and avoid emotional or subjective terms. In general, your feedback should aim for improvement and be constructive. Think about how the situation could be enhanced or what could be done differently.

Balance positives and negatives: If possible, include positive feedback and your concerns. This balanced approach can make it easier for your manager to receive and act on your feedback.

Before you go into the meeting, consider the following: 

  • Practice emotional intelligence: Be mindful of your emotions and your manager's. The goal is constructive dialogue, not conflict.

  • Confidentiality: Keep the feedback session confidential to maintain trust.

  • Professional growth: View the process as an opportunity for professional development, demonstrating your ability to communicate effectively and constructively.

2. Request a meeting

Depending on the nature of your feedback, you might want to ask for a private meeting. This respects your and your manager’s privacy and avoids putting anyone on the spot. Make sure you choose a suitable time for the meeting, avoiding stressful periods or end-of-day when everyone is tired.

Of course, sometimes the feedback is pretty brief. Not everything needs to be a meeting. 

Instead, you could offer your feedback using a Thankbox. Congratulate your boss on a job well done with written messages, videos, and more. Afterwards, your boss can keep the card for posterity and bask in the kind words you shared.

Trust brown icon Remind Your Manager That They’re Appreciated With Thankbox!

Everyone on your team deserves to feel appreciated, so why not send feedback to your manager? Create a customised Thankbox to help brighten their day.

3. Frame your feedback

Frame your feedback from your perspective to avoid sounding accusatory. To do this, use "I" Statements, like "I feel..." or "I observed..."

Discuss your feedback in terms of its impact on you and the work. This can help your manager understand its significance. Where possible, propose solutions or alternatives. This shows you’re not just criticising but are invested in improvement.

Man reading a contract

4. Dialogue, not monologue

After presenting your feedback, be open to hearing your manager’s perspective. It’s possible there are factors you’re unaware of. Try to understand the situation better by asking questions that get you both on the same page.

5. Follow up

After the fact, don’t forget to summarise your discussion in an email, thanking your manager for their time and outlining any agreed-upon next steps.

Depending on the nature of the feedback, you might even want to propose a follow-up meeting to discuss progress or reassess the situation.

Colleagues discussing a project in a sketchbook

5 types of feedback to give your manager (with examples)

1. Feedback on communication 

Effective communication is essential to creating a positive company culture. Your manager’s efforts to improve transparency and understanding within your team should not go unnoticed.

Positive feedback examples:

  • "I've noticed the more frequent team updates. They've really helped in keeping everyone in the loop and fostering a sense of inclusivity."

  • "The introduction of the 'open door' policy has encouraged more open conversations and has made you more approachable."

Constructive feedback examples:

  • "While the team appreciates the increased updates, providing a clearer agenda for each meeting could help us prepare better and contribute more effectively."

  • "The 'open door' policy is great, but setting specific hours for open discussions might help manage both our time and yours more efficiently."

2. Feedback on leadership style

Great leaders know when to adapt their leadership style. Moreover, they should always have a pulse on your team’s morale and productivity. Let your manager know that this doesn’t go unnoticed.

Positive feedback examples:

  • "I've noticed you're delegating more, which shows trust in our abilities and helps us grow professionally."

  • "We appreciate your willingness to listen to feedback and make adjustments. It's made us all feel more motivated and empowered."

Constructive feedback examples:

  • "Delegating tasks has been empowering, yet more feedback on our performance could help us learn and improve further."

  • "Listening to team feedback is invaluable; perhaps follow-up actions from these discussions could be more visibly implemented to show how input leads to change."

3. Feedback on team dynamics

Fostering a cohesive team dynamic is pivotal to your company’s success. Show your manager that their efforts are valued.

Positive feedback examples:

  • "I've noticed the increase in team-building activities. They've significantly improved our communication and trust among team members."

  • "Your ability to create a culture of open feedback within the team has encouraged us all to be more receptive and supportive."

Constructive feedback examples:

  • "Team-building activities have been great. Including a wider variety of activities could cater to different interests and strengthen our bond."

  • "Fostering an open feedback culture has been positive. More structured feedback mechanisms could ensure consistency and fairness in how feedback is given and received."

Hands together

4. Feedback on recognition and rewards

It’s a bit of a funny scenario, doesn’t it? But if you have a lot of employee recognition in your office, you should recognise your manager for it!

Positive feedback examples:

  • "I've noticed the more personalised recognition for team members' achievements, which has made us all feel valued and appreciated."

  • "Your introduction of the employee of the month program has motivated us and brought our achievements to light meaningfully."

Constructive feedback examples:

  • "Personalised recognition is appreciated; ensuring consistency across the team could enhance fairness and motivation."

  • "The employee of the month program is motivating; perhaps incorporating peer nominations could add to its impact."

Trust brown icon Remind Your Manager That They’re Appreciated With Thankbox!

Everyone on your team deserves to feel appreciated, so why not send feedback to your manager? Create a customised Thankbox to help brighten their day.

5. Feedback on work-life balance

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is crucial for everyone’s well-being and productivity. Make sure that it’s clear these efforts are appreciated.

Positive feedback examples:

  • "Your understanding and support for remote work arrangements have significantly contributed to a better balance for me and many of my colleagues."

  • "You've encouraged us to take our full lunch and regular breaks throughout the day, which has greatly improved our focus and energy levels."

Constructive feedback examples:

  • "Support for remote work is great. Providing resources for effective home office setups could further enhance productivity and comfort."

  • "Encouraging regular breaks is beneficial; perhaps introducing wellness programs could further support our well-being."

Cheerful women in a cafe

Provide memorable feedback with Thankbox!

We just wrapped up five different types of feedback to give your manager. So if you were wondering what to tell them, you have your answer.

Of course, if you’re wondering about how to best give feedback, why not consider creating a Thankbox?

It’s a fun and memorable way to give your manager feedback, and it’s 100% online!

Images: Cover | Man reading a contract | Colleagues discussing a project in a sketchbook | Hands together | Cheerful women in a cafe