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Get More From Group Feedback

Published on October 24, 2022

Feedback is tough on the ego, and it can be particularly challenging when it comes from several people. In working with leaders and their Employee Engagement Survey data or other group feedback, Talent Strategy finds three common roadblocks to making the most of group feedback. 

Issue: Focusing on the backstory. 

  • Dismissing feedback because you assume you know who provided it can lead to defensiveness: “they don’t understand,” “they’re difficult and always complain,” etc. Or, if you are a new supervisor who is looking at engagement survey results for the previous leader, it may be tempting to be skeptical about the value of the feedback to you.
  • Solution: focus on the ways to address the feedback and improve rather than dismissing it entirely. The feedback is intended to help you grow as a leader and improve the employee experience. Even results from a previous leader can identify cultural or workplace process issues that still need to be addressed.  

Issue: Failing to acknowledge and act on the feedback. 

  • Surveys and feedback tools are only useful if they are shared, discussed, and acted on by leaders. Failing to do so can undermine trust and confidence in leaders.  
  • Solution: People want to be heard and seen, and you should at least acknowledge the feedback offered. As a leader, you may be asked directly about why feedback wasn’t shared with the team or discussed, which is your responsibility. Ideally, discussing the feedback will lead to taking steps to address issues raised. Remember, your team doesn’t expect you to be perfect, but you do need to take ownership and respect their perspective about their workplace.

Issue: Putting the burden of a solution on your direct reports. 

  • Taking action on group feedback should involve a group discussion of the results and then prioritizing and creating a plan to address some of the feedback. This input will help uncover more nuance, come up with better ideas and improve employee engagement overall. 
  • Solution: Leaders are responsible for leading discussions, architecting the plan, and executing it with input from your group. Focus the plan on one to three goals and start taking steps. As with the above issues, the first steps to cultivating engagement is to address feedback openly and in a respectful way by listening without judgment and helping to make change with your team. Consult the action library for resources and ideas for taking action. 
Upcoming Events


Employee Engagement (Self-paced Course)

The self-paced Employee Engagement course is a great place to start to understand the cycle and fundamentals of employee engagement. The course counts toward the Supervisory Development Foundations Certificate. 

New Supervisor Orientation

October 24–November 21
New Supervisor Orientation is a four-week online course to help faculty and staff who are new to supervising at the University. Whether you’ve gained direct reports in the last few months or have previous supervisory experience, but are brand new to the University, this course will help you to more effectively carry out your supervisory role. Learn more about New Supervisor Orientation and its availability.

Employee Engagement Follow Up Survey

The Employee Engagement Follow Up Survey will close on Friday, October 28. Please encourage your direct reports to share their feedback on the work environment using the survey link sent from [email protected]