Unlike many performance review processes, the Manager Effectiveness survey is not meant to be an evaluation that affects your compensation. Instead, it’s an opportunity for you to get valuable feedback on how to increase your impact based on feedback from your team. Gathered insights help new managers transition into established people leaders. Experienced managers can use the intel to power their ongoing development. To take full advantage of this opportunity, we recommend using the Learn, Act, Repeat model to take action on feedback, and assess the impact of those actions for continuous improvement.
Step 1. Spend time fully understanding your feedback
Walk Through Results in the Platform
Before jumping into your feedback, spend a moment thinking about and preparing for how you want to view your feedback. We understand receiving feedback is scary. It is also important to remember that giving feedback can be equally scary, however, when used correctly, feedback can be an incredible gift.
There is meaningful feedback in your data; and the Culture Amp platform is designed to help you understand and improve your skills as a manager. The feedback you receive through this survey can be used to help you focus on the specific areas that will make the biggest impact on how you manage and lead your team. Using this information in a focused way can result in higher engagement and overall team efficiency.
Start by utilizing the following features:
- Insights. The Insights Report is the starting place to explore your data. The system is designed to be intuitive so feel free to click on a factor name or survey question to dig deeper. On the Insights Report, you can see the overall experience of your team under your management. Start here by identifying what your highest scoring factors are and what stands out to you as opportunities for improvement?
- Manager Effectiveness Index. This encompasses the overall feedback team members report about you as a manager. We define effective management as the ability to inspire, motivate and support direct reports to do their best work, demonstrate deep personal care and connection with employees, while also consistently achieving desired business outcomes. What are team members experiencing?
- Questions. Move to the Questions page to get more granular. Look for feedback that matched your expectations, and feedback that surprised you. What are your top 1-5 highest scoring questions? Celebrate! And your lowest? Any polarizing questions (with a large favorable and unfavorable population)? These should be discussed.
- Comments. Read the Comments Report to add color to the results, while considering that a small proportion of respondents tend to leave comments.
TIP: If you feel challenged by some of what you see from the Insights and Questions reports, take a breather before diving into the comments. This way you can process the high level insights before reading individual comments.
Whether your feedback is exactly what you expected, or some parts took you by surprise, remember that the purpose of the feedback is to help you develop and improve. It’s not uncommon to seek guidance in contextualizing the feedback from a peer, mentor, or HR team member. We recommend this as a first step so that you can get more comfortable with the results and begin to think about your plan before discussing them directly with your team members.
Step 2. Discuss the results with your team
Prepare to Share the Results
Set up a time for your entire team to discuss the survey results - you may prefer to meet with each team member individually before pulling the group together. Where possible, do this in person and in a room where people will feel comfortable being candid. In most cases, we recommend you review the results as a group in the Culture Amp platform, but using pdf exports is also an option. Additionally, it may be helpful to set the stage with some ground rules...
- Thank your team for providing valuable feedback on how you can improve.
- Remind folks that you will be discussing perceptions. While other’s perceptions may not always be the same as ours, everyone’s perceptions are valid.
- Be sure to allow time for each individual team member to comment as you work through the feedback. But remember that this is an opportunity to explore the results as a group. To enable open sharing, assure team members that this is a safe and confidential forum to express themselves and expand on their experiences.
- Call out that while it is tempting to want to find out “who said what”, ask everyone to set this desire aside and instead focus their attention on high-level themes with a goal of action and next steps.
- Encourage team members to speak for themselves when discussing feedback by using “I” statements over “you” and “we” statements.
- Dismiss any of the feedback or the comments as “wrong” or “misguided”. It’s a good practice to instead pay attention to negative judgement that may come up so that you can focus on what could be improved or consider what an alternative approach might look like.
Have a Discussion
Discussing your results requires the courage to be vulnerable. A helpful tactic is to first consider your own expectations and surprises, and then focus on what surfaced from the group as your greatest strengths and opportunities for development. Ahead of the discussion, try to answer the following questions for yourself:
- Are the results aligned with what you expected? Any surprises?
- What did the team report as your top strengths?
- What stands out for you as an opportunity?
- When reviewing the feedback, what made you feel good? Why?
- What were the areas that challenged you? Why do you think that these felt challenging?
TIP: This is a great opportunity to work with a peer, manager or HRBP to help process the feedback and gain additional perspective. It is more important that you take the time to properly think through the results and your responses than rushing to a meeting with your team; even though the urge may be to get through it as soon as possible, take your time.
At this point you’ll have processed the results for yourself and will be positioned to consider and discuss how these results apply to your everyday interactions with team members. For high scoring questions, you can ask yourself and the group what kinds of behaviors led to those favorable scores? Ask what you should continue? For low scoring questions, ask what kinds of behaviors can be developed? Ask what you should do more of?
Step 3. Select a focus
Once the results have been shared and discussed, you're ready to select a focus area to get started on it straight away. Stick to a small number (e.g., 1-3 focus areas at a time) so you can make meaningful change. You might consider the recommended focus areas highlighted in the platform by the Focus Agent. The Focus Agent crunches the data available in your report to highlight those questions it recommends you focus on first.
When considering what to choose as your focus, incorporate:
- The survey questions with the lowest favorability. Where does your score differ from internal and external comparisons?
- Outside of the data, is there any item or behavior that keeps coming up in team meetings or discussions?
- Ask each team member to select which item/s they would like you to consider as a focus.
TIP: If you’d like a few days to absorb all of your feedback, let your team know when they can expect to hear from you about your selected focus area. If you choose to go this route, it is important that you are clear about the “when” and “how” of your follow-up, and that you follow through on whatever agreements are made with the team.
Step 4. Brainstorm ideas for action
Once you’ve selected your focus area, commit to specific actions you can take to improve. It’s important to consider the unique context of your team as you take action. Many successful strategies can come from:
- Your peers. If you received feedback in a particular area that you’d like to improve, reach out to your peers that are strong in that area. Getting tips from peers on how to improve is often the easiest way to get advice from an expert.
- Your direct reports. They are the ones that gave you the feedback after all! Your direct reports might be able to cite past experiences with other managers that you can learn from.
- Your HR Team. HR employees are often good coaches. Reach out to your HR team for guidance on how to improve in your selected focus area, or to be matched with someone in the organization that excels in this area.
- Your own research. There are resources available online, in books, and at industry events that you may be able to learn from. Research!
Set Next Steps
Now that you know where you want to go, think about the next steps required to get there. To ensure that changes are made and not just talked about, give yourself a timeline to help keep yourself accountable. This is a good opportunity to leverage your internal support as well. Consider sharing your timeline with a person who is supporting you in this process and then having periodic check-ins to evaluate where you stand on these items; sometimes making a commitment to somebody other than yourself can be powerful in helping you stay focused and on task.
We’ve seen higher rates of success and future improvement if you check in with your team from time-to-time. For example, asking your team: “From our Manager Effectiveness Survey last quarter, I committed to improving the way I trickle down important updates - have you noticed any improvement and do you have additional suggestions for me?” This will remind your team that you’re committed to improvement.
Following your action planning, you can already start thinking about the Repeat stage. We've found it helpful to answer these questions while you're still in action mode.
- What changes in results do I want to see? Write down your focus area and what changes you would like to see next time you ask employees for their feedback. This will give you a goal and helps to connect your actions back to survey results in the future.
- When will I survey again? Consider how long it will take for your proposed actions to be implemented and experienced, and to see their effect. Keep tabs on when your HR team plans to survey again so you don’t overlap in efforts.
Congratulations on getting started with your Manager Effectiveness results!