How to Create Effective Manager Feedback Surveys

CoffeePals Team
CoffeePals Team
April 12, 2024
How to Create Effective Manager Feedback Surveys

Most people think of feedback as something managers give their team members. However, managers also need to receive feedback to be effective at their jobs.

Welcome to our guide on creating effective manager feedback surveys. In today's fast-paced workplace, it's essential to recognize that managers benefit greatly from constructive feedback like any other team member. 

A robust feedback loop helps managers understand their impact and empowers them to adapt, grow, and lead more effectively. In this article, we'll talk about how to create manager feedback surveys that yield valuable and actionable insights.


49% of employees have quit a job due to a toxic relationship with their manager. Less than one in five employees can say that they trust their boss; everybody else does not.

The Purpose of Manager Feedback Surveys

Manager feedback surveys help gather insights from employees about their managers' performance, leadership style, communication effectiveness, and overall impact on the team. These surveys aim to provide managers with constructive feedback that can help them identify their strengths, areas for improvement, and opportunities for professional growth.

Manager feedback surveys are important for several reasons:

  • Promoting growth and development: By receiving feedback from their team, managers can gain valuable insights into how their actions and behaviors are perceived. This feedback can help them identify areas where they excel and areas where they can improve.
  • Improving leadership effectiveness: Manager feedback surveys enable managers to understand how their leadership style impacts their team and identify strategies for enhancing their effectiveness in guiding and motivating their employees.
  • Enhancing communication and trust: Encouraging open and honest employee feedback fosters a culture of transparency and trust within the organization. When employees feel heard and valued, they are more likely to communicate openly with their managers, improving collaboration, morale, and overall team performance.
  • Driving organizational change: Feedback gathered from these surveys can highlight systemic issues or areas of concern that may need to be addressed. This data-driven approach to identifying challenges and opportunities enables leaders to make informed decisions and implement meaningful changes that benefit the organization.

Overall, manager feedback surveys play a crucial role in promoting continuous improvement, strengthening leadership capabilities, and fostering a positive work environment where employees feel empowered to contribute to the success of the team and the organization as a whole.

Critical Areas of Focus

In creating effective manager feedback surveys, it's essential to focus on several critical areas to ensure that the feedback gathered is relevant, actionable, and ultimately beneficial for both managers and their teams. These critical areas of focus include:

  • Leadership style and approach: Evaluate how managers lead and inspire their teams. This includes assessing their ability to set clear goals, provide direction, motivate employees, and lead by example.
  • Communication skills: Examine how effectively managers communicate with their team members. This involves assessing their clarity of communication, active listening skills, responsiveness to employee concerns, and the frequency and quality of communication.
  • Team collaboration and engagement: Assess the manager's ability to foster a collaborative and inclusive work environment where team members feel valued, supported, and motivated to contribute their best efforts. This includes evaluating their approach to team-building, conflict resolution, and recognizing employee contributions.
  • Performance management: Evaluate how managers provide feedback, coach, and develop their team members to reach their full potential. This involves assessing their ability to set performance expectations, provide constructive feedback, and support employee growth and development.
  • Decision-making and problem-solving: Assess the manager's decision-making process and problem-solving approach. This includes evaluating their ability to make informed decisions, involve team members in the decision-making process when appropriate, and effectively address challenges and obstacles.
  • Employee well-being and work-life balance: Consider how managers support their team members' well-being and promote a healthy work-life balance. This involves assessing their ability to recognize and address signs of burnout, provide resources and support for employee wellness, and encourage work-life balance practices.
  • Adaptability and change management: Evaluate how managers navigate change and adapt to evolving circumstances. This includes assessing their flexibility, resilience, and ability to lead their team through periods of change and uncertainty effectively.

By focusing on these critical areas, manager feedback surveys can provide a comprehensive assessment of managerial effectiveness and identify areas for improvement that can drive positive change within the organization.

How to Create Effective Manager Feedback Surveys

Questions to Ask in the Survey

The questions you ask can either pave the way to success or set you up for failure. When it comes to manager feedback surveys, the questions you include play a pivotal role in gathering meaningful insights that drive positive change and improvement within your organization. 

Effective feedback surveys provide managers with valuable information about their leadership style, communication effectiveness, team dynamics, and more, empowering them to excel in their roles and foster a positive work environment.

Here’s a list of sample questions categorized by critical focus areas to help you craft impactful manager feedback surveys.

Leadership Style and Approach

  • How effectively does your manager communicate the team's goals and objectives?
  • To what extent does your manager inspire and motivate you to perform at your best?
  • How well does your manager provide clear direction and guidance on tasks and projects?
  • How would you rate your manager's ability to lead by example and demonstrate integrity?

Communication Skills

  • How would you rate your manager's ability to listen actively to your concerns and feedback?
  • How clear and concise are your manager's communications regarding work expectations and updates?
  • Are you comfortable approaching your manager with questions, concerns, or ideas?
  • How responsive is your manager to emails, messages, and requests for assistance?

Team Collaboration and Engagement

  • To what extent does your manager encourage collaboration and teamwork among team members?
  • How effectively does your manager recognize and celebrate team accomplishments and contributions?
  • Does your manager provide opportunities for professional growth and development?
  • How would you rate your manager's ability to resolve conflicts and address team dynamics?

Performance Management

  • How well does your manager provide feedback on your performance and areas for improvement?
  • Do you feel supported by your manager in achieving your professional goals and objectives?
  • How effective is your manager in providing coaching and guidance to help you succeed in your role?
  • Does your manager provide adequate resources and support to help you excel?

Decision-Making and Problem-Solving

  • How transparent is your manager in communicating decisions that impact the team?
  • To what extent does your manager involve team members in the decision-making process when appropriate?
  • How effectively does your manager address challenges and obstacles that arise in the workplace?
  • Do you feel confident in your manager's ability to make informed decisions that benefit the team?

Employee Well-being and Work-Life Balance

  • Does your manager promote a healthy work-life balance for team members?
  • How supportive is your manager in addressing work-related stress or burnout?
  • Does your manager encourage open discussions about work-related challenges and personal well-being?
  • How flexible is your manager in accommodating personal or family needs?

Adaptability and Change Management

  • How well does your manager adapt to changes in work processes or priorities?
  • Does your manager effectively communicate changes and updates to the team?
  • How supportive is your manager in guiding the team through periods of change or uncertainty?
  • How proactive is your manager in identifying and addressing potential challenges or obstacles?

Whether you're looking to assess communication skills, foster team collaboration, or promote employee well-being, these sample questions can be valuable for designing surveys that yield actionable insights.

“We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.” – Bill Gates

Other Tips for Giving Manager Feedback

Feedback should be constructive, actionable, and conducive to growth and development. Effective feedback helps managers improve their performance and fosters a culture of continuous improvement and collaboration within the organization.

Here are some final tips for giving effective feedback to your managers:

  • Balance quantitative and qualitative data

When providing feedback to managers, aim to balance quantitative data (such as survey ratings or performance metrics) and qualitative feedback (such as comments or anecdotes).

Quantitative data provides objective metrics for evaluation, while qualitative feedback offers context and insights into the reasons behind the data. By combining both types of data, you can offer a comprehensive view of managerial performance and identify areas for improvement more effectively.

  • Focus on specific behaviors and examples

When giving feedback to managers, focus on specific behaviors or actions rather than making generalized statements. Provide concrete examples or anecdotes to illustrate your points and make your feedback more actionable.

For example, instead of saying, "You need to communicate better," you could say, "I noticed that during team meetings, you often interrupt others when they're speaking, which can make team members feel unheard."

  • Offer constructive criticism and solutions

When addressing areas for improvement, frame feedback constructively and offer suggestions or solutions for how managers can address them. Avoid criticism for the sake of criticism and focus on helping managers develop actionable strategies for growth.

For example, instead of simply pointing out flaws, offer specific recommendations for communication techniques or leadership practices that can enhance their effectiveness.

  • Encourage self-reflection and development

Encourage managers to engage in self-reflection and actively seek feedback from their team members. Help them understand that receiving feedback is a valuable opportunity for growth and development rather than a critique of their abilities. Encourage them to set personal development goals based on feedback received and support them in implementing strategies to achieve them.

  • Create opportunities for laidback conversations

In addition to formal feedback mechanisms like surveys or performance reviews, provide avenues for more laidback and informal conversations between managers and their team members.

Casual one-on-one meetings, coffee chats, or team-building activities can create a relaxed environment where employees feel comfortable sharing feedback openly. These informal interactions can uncover valuable insights and foster stronger relationships between managers and their teams.

Virtual coffee chats are an excellent way to have these much-needed casual conversations. They provide a relaxed atmosphere where team members can connect with their managers on a more personal level. These informal settings often lead to more authentic and open dialogue, allowing for deeper insights to emerge and strengthening bonds within the team.

CoffeePals is a virtual coffee chat platform that can help make this happen. Add CoffeePals to Microsoft Teams now and start having conversations that will help shape your organization’s leadership.

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