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12460RE: [Nonprofit Networking Group] Supervisor Feedback Question

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  • Dee Christoff
    Dec 17, 2013
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      I understand your reticence. But, if you have no choice, you may be able to structure the feedback in such a way as to both mitigate fears, as well as the temptation to dump on someone. You may also want to have a conversation and/or provide clear instructions/expectations in advance for those who will be doing the reviewing.
      1. Create the expectation that this is intended to be a positive experience.
      • Focus on what people do best and behaviors that the reviewer would like to see more of (vs what he/she doesn't like or wants to see less of).
      • See to it that it's a learning/growth experience for all involved.
      • Note that transparency may improve relationships (vs secretly hearing what people think and being suspicious or trying to figure out who said what...)
      2. Keep it focused on job performance (not personalities). Don't be open-ended. Rather, ask for feedback on specific goals or job functions.
      3. Give the reviewer a chance to re-direct, if needed. But, instead of asking "what other feedback or comments do you have?" offer the reviewer a chance to write his or her own question. (Ex: write one question on an area that you would like to be evaluated on and provide a response to that question about the subject.)
      4. Express gratitude and recognize the difficulty in advance. (I appreciate the opportunity to learn from your feedback. I know this might be difficult, but I trust that you'll be fair and constructive - as I know you would want me to be.)
      Does this help?
      Dee Christoff 

      To: NonprofitNetworking@yahoogroups.com
      From: daniellekbaird@...
      Date: Tue, 17 Dec 2013 10:25:15 -0800
      Subject: Re: [Nonprofit Networking Group] Supervisor Feedback Question

      Thanks for your quick response, Gretchen!

      I very much share your concerns around attaching names...and I think that despite everyone's best intentions, it is hard to reach that level of enlightenment in an organization!

      That said, I figured I would check to see if anyone out there did have positive experiences or ways around some of these issues, in case this is the route the organization requires me to take. :)

      On Tue, Dec 17, 2013 at 10:08 AM, Gretchen Frankenstein <gretchen.frankenstein@...> wrote:

      Danielle, I have assisted with this issue in the past informally. The problem, of course, is that of anticipated retaliation, real or imagined. The supervisor holds all the power. Unless you have very enlightened upper management, it will always back up the supervisor, not the employee. Since evaluations are often used as weapons (I personally think they should be thrown out in favor of monthly checkups or something else) and employees know this, it would be unfair to attach names to evaluations of supervisors unless you are working for a very enlightened organization. Or, do this with one year and then track what supervisors do to employees the following year on their evaluations.

      That said, it is an excellent idea if you can make it work. Soooo much dysfunction in an organization is due to poor management. It's the reason I don't do much with nonprofits anymore.


      On Tue, Dec 17, 2013 at 9:50 AM, Danielle Baird <daniellekbaird@...> wrote:

      Hi all,

      I'm wondering if anyone has experience collecting feedback from employees about their direct supervisor with employees' "names attached"?

      In this case, feedback would be related to the employees' perceptions of the quality of supervision they've received from their supervisor.

      The organization I am working with feels strongly that because supervisors deliver feedback to their employees directly (annual performance reviews and regular one-on-one meetings to discuss employees' performance), it is only fair that employees give their supervisor this same courtesy.

      My experience is only with subordinates providing anonymous feedback to their managers. I'd love to hear if others have successfully gathered this data without the anonymity.



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