When I Rate My Employer
“You don’t need to be Blind Loyal. Having the best interest of that person in your heart shouldn’t stop you from constantly giving feedback.” –Assegid Habtewold
So the time has come to rate my employer. Fear is running up my spine. And cold sweat is trailing on my back.
What should I say?
Obviously, there are things that I don’t like about him — stuffs that I believe he can do better.
But he’s my boss. I’m just an employee. I don’t think I’m in the position to provide thoughtful and constructive feedbacks.
What if he hates it? I don’t want to lose my job!
There are just so many “what ifs” huh? I understand. You and I are so used to receiving regular feedbacks from our employers.
They tell us what we are doing right and what things we can improve on. Sometimes these feedbacks are constructive and at times, destructive.
Fortunately, we are no longer living in an age where feedbacks to bosses aren’t welcome.
With changing workplace demographics and emphasis on collaborative culture, CEOs, supervisors and managers are now looking for different ways on how to improve.
And asking feedbacks from their employees is one of them.
So how can you give effective feedbacks without stepping out of bounds? Here are my tips.
The 5 Things I Do When I Rate My Employer
Mind you, even the most well-designed feedback process can do more harm than good if your employer review is not helpful to your boss.
There are so many reasons behind this. One, we struggle at giving constructive criticisms. Or we are too critical. Or we intentionally avoid providing feedbacks that we know our employer (or colleague) needs but may not like to hear.
Regardless of your reasons, you need to understand that as a rater, you must step up to your role — there’s no other way.
So, the next time your boss asks you for a feedback or a comment, don’t just say “You’re doing great!”
Instead, speak your mind. Throw away those old habits and silence your fears.
Want some tips? Here are the 5 things I do when I rate my boss.
1. Think in Advance
When giving employer reviews, remember to keep your comments candid — but don’t use this as an excuse to not think about your review in advance.
Instead, carefully consider the emotional intelligence, tendencies and personality of your boss. Make sure that he or she will hear your feedback as you intend and not misunderstand it.
The best way to do this is to state your feedback in a way that shows care about your employer’s development and growth.
Consider the emotional intelligence and personality of your boss
Doing this increases the chances of a rewarding and positive experience for you and your employer.
2. Show Respect
I always avoid the absolutes like “never” or “always” when I rate my boss.
Why? Because these words don’t show respect and by the way, they are never true and will always lead to bad feelings.
Avoid attacking your employer’s intent or motives when providing a 360 review. You may provide specifics, if appropriate and helpful, but don’t blindside your boss with comments he or she has not received before.
Dr. Maya Angelou’s words perfectly describes the importance of respect when giving feedbacks:
“People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.”
3. Speak for Yourself
Your feedbacks and ratings should be based on your personal experiences.
Don’t base your employer reviews on gossips or hearsay. Remember, your employer asks you to provide your personal feedback about his performance.
Help him grow by doing just that.
4. Focus on the Review Questions
This is especially true in large organisations where feedbacks and employer reviews are based on questionnaires to save time.
If this is the case, focus on the questions. A 360 review isn’t a forum where you can rant about not having enough benefits or the broken coffee maker in your department’s snack room.
In addition, telling someone that he is a poor manager is neither actionable or helpful. Be specific.
5. Honesty is Key
Employer reviews are not just about bad things or stuffs that need to improve on.
Give your boss the pleasure and relief of learning about his qualities that you like or appreciate while not depriving him of the opportunity to improve and grow.
Whatever your feedbacks are, keep in mind that honesty is key. I love how Joseph Folkman in his article The Best Gift Leaders Can Give: Honest Feedback emphasized the importance of honesty and saying it right:
“Giving honest feedback is a fantastic gift, but apparently people only experience it as a gift when it is delivered well. Giving honest feedback poorly, will, for most people, be viewed as a punishment—not a gift.”
The review process will only be valuable to both you and your employer when the feedbacks are honest, respectful and direct.
An Expert’s Top Three Advice In Giving Feedback in Workplaces
Few years ago, famous workplace speaker Dan Schawbel sat down withDouglas Stone, Managing Partner at Triad Consulting Group and Lecturer at Harvard Law School.
In the interview, the two talked about the importance of feedback in workplaces. Here’s an excerpt of their conversation:
What are your top three tips in providing effective and constructive feedbacks in the workplace?
First, not surprisingly, is this: get good not only at receiving feedback, but also at soliciting it. Studies show that people who solicit feedback, and in particular, negative feedback (things they can work on and improve), get higher performance evaluations. When you solicit feedback, you are sending a message about yourself — that you are open, confident, care about the views of others, and are eager to improve.
Second, don’t frame your request for feedback around how it helps you. Don’t say, “I want feedback because I want to be a vice president in five years.” Frame it around how your improvement can help the organization: “I want to feedback because it will help me run these meetings more efficiently, and use people’s time better.”
Third, ask people about their life stories. Feedback and coaching don’t have to be about you in order for it to be helpful. Ask your mentor or colleague how they overcame a setback, how they managed a tough transition, what they are most proud of about their own choices. Nothing is as helpful as the texture and nuance of a person’s real story.