Promoting Manager Effectiveness at Work: Learn the What, Why, How

Manager effectiveness has a direct impact on organizational success. Explore the best practices to measure, promote and improve manager effectiveness.

“People leave managers, not companies”, 

you must have come across this famous quote by Marcus Buckingham at least once in your professional life. Even a study by Gallup corroborates the idea that 50% of employees cite a bad manager as the top reason to quit their jobs. This clearly indicates that managers play a pivotal role in ensuring a positive employee experience resulting in better performance and productivity. Invariably, promoting manager effectiveness at work has become a top priority for all organizations. Through the course of this article, we will answer all questions you might have about manager effectiveness, the best practices, common pitfalls and much more.  

What is manager effectiveness?

You can understand manager effectiveness as a term that is dynamic and can have different connotations for different professionals. Put simply, manager effectiveness entails the ability of a manager to successfully achieve organizational goals while balancing employee expectations. The concept goes beyond manager efficiency, where only the inputs and outputs are concerned.  Rather its importance lies in ensuring that in addition to the work being done efficiently, there is progress for both the individual and the organization at large. Effective managers are able to better lead their teams, add efficiency to the work and drive organizations to create impact. 

The role of manager effectiveness in organizational success

Before jumping on to the ways to gauge and subsequently improve manager effectiveness, let’s quickly reflect on the top reasons why manager effectiveness is essential for organizational success.

1. Greater employee engagement

Effective managers have the potential to motivate, engage and inspire their team members in a way that augments their performance. According to a study by Gallup, managers account for at least 70% of the variance in employee engagement scores across business units. Therefore, effective managers facilitate employee experience leading to attracting and retaining the best talent.

2. Balance leadership and employees

Managers act as a channel between the senior leadership and the employees at any organization. Effective managers play an important role in ensuring that all organizational goals are met and at the same time while promoting employee wellbeing and growth. They are better able to align organizational and employee goals to create a win-win situation.

3. Resilience and transformation

In the VUCA world, manager effectiveness is important to adapt to the fast-changing world. Effective managers are resilient and agile in their decision making to ensure business continuity, even in the face of uncertainty.

Traits of a highly effective manager

While the importance of manager effectiveness has been established, what an effective manager should be like is still a topic of debate. Almost everyone has their own version of manager effectiveness, but there are certain traits that all effective managers share. Invariably, these should be considered as the starting point for every manager seeking to lead and influence a team to drive results. For the ease of understanding, you can consider an effective manager as someone who is:

1. A Team Player

Right from a transparent delegation of tasks to facilitating seamless coordination and collaboration between everyone, manager effectiveness involves ensuring the team works like a well-oiled machine. However, according to a survey by The Predictive Index, 30% of employees believe their manager lacks team-building skills.

2. A Mentor and Coach

Effective managers help teams achieve their goals and reach the pinnacle with adequate mentoring and coaching to facilitate subtle behavioral nudges for growth and development. 

3. A Good Communicator

Highly effective managers have clarity of thought and expectations and are able to put them into words clearly. Communication is vital both within one’s team and when interacting externally. 

4. An Active Listener

Effective managers are open to listening to their team members on feedback as well as opinions on the overall culture. It could be through 1-o-1 conversations, group discussions, performance reviews, or personal interactions.. 

5. An Appreciator

This involves acknowledging the hard work they put in, even if the results are not exactly what you expected. Additionally, recognizing, appreciating, and rewarding good work is a key trait of an effective manager.

6. A Confident Decision Maker

A manager is essentially the one who shows everyone else the direction to sail in. At times, the decisions are hard and might not be ideal for some. However, effective managers are confident of their capabilities, experience, and, thus, their decisions. 

7. A Reliable Resource

Manager effectiveness requires a high-reliability quotient. This involves not only supporting and championing your team whenever they need it but also setting a good example for the organization and for others to follow.

How to measure manager effectiveness: Key manager effectiveness metrics

If you are striving for success across your managerial talent, you must have a standard manager effectiveness index in place. This involves a comprehensive approach on how to measure manager effectiveness. Thus, you need to explore some key manager effectiveness metrics. Here is a list of top 5 manager effectiveness metrics that you can rely upon while building their manager effectiveness index:

1. Engagement scores with surveys and pulses

You must gauge the employee engagement scores as a part of the manager effectiveness metrics. Measuring employee engagement via pulse surveys to gauge manager effectiveness is important because lower levels of engagement are the root cause of absenteeism and turnover. Even if employees stick around, unless they are completely engaged, expecting them to deliver 100% productivity might be an over expectation.

2. Turnover and retention rates

The turnover vs retention rate is an important parameter for the manager effectiveness index. The idea is to gauge the reason for leaving for every outgoing employee. A sub-metric that deserves measurement for manager effectiveness is the rate of high performer turnover. This is the turnover rate of high performers vs the turnover rate of others as a whole. Retaining high performers signals manager effectiveness while higher turnover points to the opposite. If you look closely, effective managers create an empowering work environment in which employees look forward to growing in, resulting in high retention rates.

3. Rate of promotions and succession planning

Manager effectiveness is linked to promotions and succession planning in two ways. Firstly, you must map the rate of promotions for a particular manager with the average rate of promotions. Effective managers are likely to have greater promotion rates in an organization as great leaders nurture more leaders. Secondly, effective managers also invest their time and effort in succession planning. Thus, measuring if a manager is able to create an environment that promotes growth and nurtures a pipeline of leaders for the future is important.

4. Employee absenteeism

How to measure manager effectiveness requires measuring employee absenteeism, i.e. the number of days employees take off from a particular team, and a comparison with the general organizational trend. In addition to quantification of absent days, the reasons for absenteeism must be explored. Effective managers breed a culture of positive mental health, wellbeing and prosperity, and promote lower absenteeism. Measuring employee absenteeism signals a manager’s ability to ensure that workload is optimized and employees feel secure and happy at the workplace.

5. Recruitment score

The manager effectiveness index involves understanding how well a manager is able to recruit new employees. Recruitment score is generally calculated on the basis of surveys and opinions of candidates who participate in the interview for a particular role. It will help you gauge a manager’s ability to bring in the best talent and result in organizational success. 

SUPER TIP: To learn about 5 more metrics to measure manager effectiveness, check out detailed article on how to measure manager effectiveness

What are the top manager effectiveness survey questions?

As mentioned above, employees and team members are the best resources to measure manager effectiveness and gauge your position on the manager effectiveness index. While the above section states different manager effectiveness metrics, below is a list of manager effectiveness survey questions, that you must ask you employees for , a comprehensive picture:

  • Do you have clarity of goals and expectations from your manager?
  • Do you regularly receive constructive feedback from your manager?
  • Has your manager put in effort to facilitate your personal and professional development?
  • Does your manager make decisions collaboratively?
  • Does your manager regularly communicate with you on different topics?
  • When was the last time you received recognition for your work?
  • Does your manager encourage you to share your ideas and opinions?
  • Does your manager treat everyone equally?
  • Do you feel valued as a part of the team?
  • Does your manager actively listen to your concerns and perspectives?
  • How comfortable are you in providing feedback to your manager?
  • How would you rate your manager (1-5) on their overall effectiveness?
  • Does your manager care about your wellbeing?
  • Does your manager discuss your long-term professional plan in the organization?
  • Do you feel overworked or underworked with the delegation of work?
  • How much have you been able to grow and develop under your manager?
  • What are the top 3 attributes you admire about your manager?
  • What are the 3 things you would like to change about your manager?

Improving manager effectiveness at work: How to be an effective manager or leader 

The following section will focus on decoding the top practices that you can implement and encourage the adoption of for improving manager effectiveness at work. The list reflects the best practices that have been tried and tested across industries and can serve as competent benchmarks:

1. Understand different personalities

Your managers and leaders must adopt a personalized approach to management, especially in the new normal, post-Covid. Manager effectiveness is about leaving behind the cookie-cutter approach of having a similar way of dealing with all employees and delegating work. Rather, the focus needs to be on different personalities and play on the strengths each employee brings to the table. A personality-based approach to team management can help in offering the right nudges to employees with tools like the SuperBeings platform.

2. Offer management training

According to research by MDA Training, 58% of managers claim to have not received any leadership training. Conventionally, most managers watch and learn from their bosses, especially about team management practices. However, in the new normal, it is important that you invest in manager training. The focus should be on developing important aspects of manager effectiveness like emotional quotient, empathy, etc. to offer the right mentoring and coaching to boost employee morale and engagement.

3. Be open to feedback

Improving manager effectiveness requires managers to widen their horizon by accepting and appreciating employee feedback. Managers must actively seek feedback on what is working and what is not to provide a pleasant employee experience. For instance, managers need to continuously gauge employee pulse on whether one-on-ones work better or team meetings. Alternatively, what is the correct ratio for the two. You must encourage your managers to accept that sometimes they might not know the best and honest employee feedback can be a great corrective measure for improving manager effectiveness.

SUPER TIP: Answers to all your queries about continuous feedback in the workplace is just one click away.

4. Celebrate milestones

Manager effectiveness requires leaders to celebrate small wins and milestones achieved by the team. Constant recognition and appreciation alongside feedback is a great motivator for team members to put their best foot forward, without pressure and entails better performance. According to global studies, 79% of employees who quit their jobs cite a lack of appreciation as a key reason for leaving.

SUPER TIP: Timely recognition is the secret to driving employee engagement and retaining top talent.

5. Invest in coaching and other wellness practices

Finally, with mental health and wellness becoming a priority, manager effectiveness involves investing in coaching and other practices. Managers need to go the extra mile to showcase their care and empathy towards the employees. Coaching platforms and wellness tools can be effective solutions. Coaching is mostly used to assist employees in clarifying their long-term objectives and integrating them with their professional goals and performance. They can help employees navigate the new challenges that come along the way with customized practices. This would be a boon for leaders when it comes to team management practices. 

SUPER TIP: Maintaining employee wellness in your workplace is extremely essential to boost your employee engagement.

Promoting manager effectiveness as a first-time manager

The above practices are beneficial for managers who have been in their role for some time and are looking to augment their effectiveness and performance. However, you must be having another set of managers who have recently transitioned into leadership roles. According to a study, 44% of first-time managers claimed they were unprepared for the new role. At the same time, 87% reported that they did not receive any training for a new managerial position. 

Here are some tips for new managers to accelerate their professional journey and make an impact:

1. Change your mindset towards team growth

For most professionals, till they reach a specific position on the leadership ladder, they only have to focus on outperforming themselves. However, as a manager, one must change their outlook towards their team and its collective growth. First-time managers must adopt a growth mindset to help their team members develop as professionals to promote manager effectiveness. This requires focusing on the strengths that everyone brings to the table and making an effort to leverage the same. For instance, you must encourage them to build a team with complementary rather than similar skills.

2. Build a rapport to take everyone along

An effective manager builds healthy relationships with everyone in their team, as well as those above and below them. Here, it is vital that first-time managers pay heed to the opinions and perspectives of everyone around. On one hand, this will help create an image that they take everybody along. On the other hand, building a rapport will facilitate collaboration which is crucial to managerial success. You can help your new managers to achieve this by enabling them to get to know team members and others beyond work. Encourage them to try to learn about their personal life (with their consent), learn about what they wish to do beyond work, etc.

3. Motivate, mentor, guide, and support development

Motivation and mentoring can take many forms. The objective is to ensure that each team member is able to reach the pinnacle of success and stretch beyond their comfort zone. You must encourage your first-time manager to create appropriate conditions to promote the personal and professional development of all team members. Setting up formal mentoring and coaching programs can be the first step. Inspire them to learn the aspirations of team members and make a conscious effort to give them assignments that can aid in their professional success.

SUPER TIP: Here is the best guide to conduct effective 1:1 meeting for the managers.

4. Nurture your emotional intelligence & communication skills

Emotional intelligence is likely to help new managers look at things from the perspective of the team members and others and ensure that they become empathetic leaders. At the same time, it is crucial to develop communication skills especially focused on active listening. Leading the people's practices, you must invest in tools that offer regular behavioral nudges for development as emotional intelligence and communication skills cannot be developed overnight and require a constant monitoring system.

5. Empower the team

Effective managers provide their teams with the right resources and tools and guide them to get things done, rather than getting into the details of every task. This creates a team that is efficient and responsible enough to take care of the operational work. This allows the manager to focus on high-order tasks and decision-making to attain scalability and success, which is critical to promoting manager effectiveness at work. Understanding team needs and providing the right resources is important. For instance, if the team is working remotely, investing in collaboration and communication tools like Slack, video conferencing tools like zoom, etc. makes sense.

Where manager effectiveness fails: Micromanagement

Till now we have focused on different ways to gauge, promote and improve manager effectiveness as well as explored practices for how to become an effective manager or leader. It is now time to focus on one of the most common pitfalls that come in the way of manager effectiveness. Often, in the process of effectively managing a team and guiding them towards success, professionals tend to lose balance and incline towards micromanagement. Put simply, micromanagement is a practice where a manager or a person in a senior position closely observes and monitors the subordinates with excessive control. 

According to a study, 69% of professionals said they considered changing jobs because of micromanagement and another 36% actually changed jobs. While micromanagement negatively impacts retention of quality talent, it affects other parameters of performance too. 71% said being micromanaged interfered with their job performance while 85% said their morale was negatively impacted. 

Therefore, you must focus on denouncing a culture of micromanagement. Here are a few tips to ensure the same:

1. Perfectionism is a myth

Micromanagement often stems from an obsession with perfectionism and the need to ensure that their team delivers the best execution possible. While it is good to aspire for perfectionism, it is important to acknowledge that sometimes good is good enough. Interfering in everything in the name of perfectionism should be kept under check. This doesn’t mean compromising and delivering below-average quality work. Encourage your managers to not go overboard in an attempt to achieve utopian perfectionism.

2. Delegate to the right people

One of the major reasons managers and leaders find themselves micromanaging is because they do not delegate and distribute responsibility. The best approach is to find the right people who have a fair balance of attitude and aptitude. The more responsibility you delegate, the less you will find yourself micromanaging. Put simply, if you are responsible for everything that goes on in your team, you will closely monitor them and try to impinge your way of working on them. However, when you delegate, you loosen your grip and make room for others to take charge, which is essentially required to avoid micromanaging and promote manager effectiveness.

3. Be inclusive and offer feedback

Managers should be inclusive while making decisions that impact the whole team. When different opinions are taken into consideration, the delegation also becomes easier. At the same time, feedback is critical to letting go of micromanagement. Taking control because you feel your team isn’t competent enough is not wise. Rather, offer constructive feedback on what went wrong and illustrate areas of improvement. This will encourage the team to step up and work on their weaknesses. Invariably, this will result in better performances, allowing leaders to take a step back and avoid micromanaging.

4. Build trust and step back slowly

Managers cannot expect to step away from micromanagement within a single day. The best approach is to let go of one thing at a time and build trust gradually. When one gives away the responsibility of one task to the team and they carry it out well, trust and faith build in their capabilities. This nurtures the confidence to take another step back. The idea is to not boil the ocean all at once, rather, step back from micromanagement one task at a time.

5. Set the expectations right and early on

Managers often claim that they micromanage because their team members shirk away from responsibilities. However, the challenge here might be a two-way street. It is very important for manager effectiveness to set clear expectations right from the very beginning. This means that all team members must be made aware of the responsibility they are supposed to take and what is expected out of them over the course of their tenure along with a roadmap to maximize their performance which doesn’t require micromanagement.

6. Prioritize and value one’s worth

By micromanaging, managers reduce their value and impact on the organization. At times, some operational or administrative task is likely to take over other important and high-value work. Therefore, managers must put time into tasks and work that only they can accomplish. The focus should be on facilitating others to do the work by providing the right resources, guidance, and mentoring, rather than getting their hands dirty all the time. Having a priority list of all the work that needs to be done and focus should only be on those that cannot be done by anyone else. For the rest, effective managers only oversee execution.

7. Manage culture not work

It is vital that managers and leaders utilize their time and effort in creating and managing a positive work culture rather than managing every task at hand. Nurturing a culture of responsibility, transparency, and accountability is imperative for managers looking to take a step back for indulging in every task that comes to their team. Managers and leaders ought to focus on promoting intrapreneurship within the team where all members stick out their hands to take ownership and come up with the best solutions to optimize productivity and performance. With such a culture in place, manager effectiveness is bound to improve by leaps and bounds.

Getting started with manager effectiveness

Improving manager effectiveness in an organization is not a task for a single day. It requires constant efforts on the part of the senior leadership, employees as well as the manager themselves. If one looks closely, scoring high on the manager effectiveness index requires promoting subtle behavioral changes in the managers based on real-time insights and data. Here, collaborating with platforms like SuperBeings can be effective. It empowers organizational managers with the right tools, insights, and recommendations to become an effective leader and manager.

Suggested reading:

Building a High Performance Team

How to measure manager effectiveness

Be the best leader with the right organisational tools to manager your employees, book a free demo today!

Garima Shukla

Marketing, SuperBeings

Hello world! I am Garima and I research and write on everything we are doing to make the world of work a better place at SuperBeings

Latest posts

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50+ Most Useful Employee Onboarding Survey Questions

‘Onboarding: How to get your new employees up to speed in half the time’ - George Bradt, founder and Chairman PrimeGenesis

Did you know that a strong onboarding process improves new hire retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%? 

However, only 12% of employees strongly agree their organization does a great job at onboarding new employees. 

This clearly states that while employee onboarding has a direct impact on the bottom line, most organizations miss out on how to get it right. 

Don’t let that happen to you. To onboard new employees like a pro, keep reading.

What is an onboarding survey?

By definition, an onboarding survey is a questionnaire that is administered on new hires to gauge their initial experience and level of satisfaction, in an attempt to understand their engagement and retention potential. 

As an HR, you can get multiple insights from an onboarding survey, including:

  • what employees thought about the organization when they heard about it for the first time
  • how their impression changed over time 
  • whether or not their experience aligns with their expectations, etc.

It can help you estimate how long the employees are likely to stay and how you can further optimize your onboarding process to make it more aligned with employee expectations. 

Why are onboarding surveys important?

An effective onboarding survey can help you reflect on your performance through the onboarding process, which directly impacts KPIs for organizational success, including:

1. Retention

93% of employers believe a good onboarding experience is critical in influencing a new employee’s decision whether to stay with the company. At the same time, 25% of a company’s new hires would leave within a year if the onboarding experience was poor. 

2. eNPS

20% of new hires are unlikely to recommend an employer to a friend or family member and an onboarding survey can help you identify the reasons for the same. However, new team members who were asked to provide feedback prior to their start date also had a 79% increase in willingness to refer others. Thus, illustrating how onboarding surveys and feedback can impact eNPS.

Read: How to use eNPS for better employee engagement

3. Satisfaction and Engagement

Employees with exceptional onboarding experiences are 2.6x more likely to be extremely satisfied with their workplace and 70% say they have ‘the best possible job’.

4. Performance

77% of employees who went through a formal onboarding process were able to meet their first performance goals. However, 49% of individuals who failed to reach their first performance milestone had no official onboarding instruction. An onboarding survey can help you determine the effectiveness of your onboarding process.  

5. Other

In addition, your new employees might also have an inclination towards providing feedback as a part of the onboarding survey, which you will lose out if you don’t conduct the same. Research shows that only 26% of new employees recall being asked for feedback on their candidate journey and the hiring process before their start date wherein 91% of new hires are willing to provide this feedback. 

Employee onboarding survey: Best practices

Now that you understand the importance of an employee onboarding survey, let’s quickly discuss how to effectively run an onboarding survey. 

1. Set the cadence

You must coincide your employee onboarding survey with important milestones for the new employee in the organization. Mostly, these milestones coincide with the end of the first few months. Thus, you should circulate your onboarding survey after 30, 60 and 90 days respectively, with different objectives for each. Furthermore, you can send interim surveys in case you feel the need, for instance, when the employee starts a project, or when the orientation process is over. 

“Effective employee onboarding isn’t about swag, stickers, & company value pamphlets on their desk the 1st day. But, how you help them understand their goals & how co values are interwoven in operating are more important.”- Suhail Doshi, founder and chairman of Mixpanel, Inc.

2. Identify critical areas and build questions

Based on the milestones or cadence you have set up, it is important to identify areas you would want to cover with each milestone. For instance:

In the first 30 days, you should focus on themes like: 

  • Orientation process
  • Initial thoughts
  • Expectation alignment 
  • Recruitment process
  • Onboarding experience

In 60 days, you can touch on themes like:

  • Knowledge transfer
  • Level of engagement and satisfaction
  • Induction process

By the end of 90 days, focus should shift towards:

  • Manager support
  • Role clarity
  • Likelihood to stay
  • Organizational alignment

Once you have decided the themes, you can start building questions, a snapshot of which is covered in the next section or you can download the template now here. The themes can be fluid across milestones, depending on the context for your organization. 

3. Roll out the survey for participation

Once the milestone arrives, you should roll out the onboarding survey and drive participation. It is important to explain to your new employees why the onboarding survey is important and how they can fill it up. Give them the requisite time, deadlines and communicate what will be the next steps to encourage them to participate. 

4. Follow up

Simply rolling out the survey is not enough. You must reach out to your new employees to remind them to fill the onboarding survey as amidst numerous new things, they might lose track of it. Don’t push too hard, yet send subtle reminders to get genuine responses. For instance: employee survey tools such as SuperBeings integrate with chat tools like Slack, Teams, Gchat to send personalized nudges to fill out the survey in the flow of work at set intervals as well as allows them to participate directly without switching context. 

Unlock a wide array of survey questions and employee analytics. See how SuperBeings can help

5. Take action

Once your onboarding survey responses are in, slice and dice them to get insights into what your employees feel and leverage the data points to further refine your onboarding process to facilitate engagement, retention and advocacy from the beginning. 

Sample onboarding survey questions for 30-60-90 day review

Taking cue from the section above, here are 50+ onboarding survey questions that you can leverage to gauge the pulse of your new employees as they complete different milestones.

You can also download these questions as a template and use it whenever you need. Click here to download

1. Onboarding survey questions for 30 day review

a) Onboarding and orientation process

  1. How can we change or improve the onboarding process?
  2. What did you like most about the onboarding process?
  3. Was the orientation interactive and engaging?
  4. Did the onboarding process meet your expectations?
  5. Do you feel welcome and proud to be working here?
  6. How would you rate the duration and quality of your onboarding experience?
  7. How would you describe your first day?

b) Decision related questions

  1. What were the top 3 reasons for joining this company?
  2. Do you think those reasons have been met?

c) Technical training and knowledge transfer

  1. Have you received the training that you were promised during your induction?
  2. Did the training meet your expectations and was accurately described during the hiring process?
  3. Is the training relevant to your roles and responsibilities?
  4. Were adequate tools and materials shared during training to facilitate knowledge transfer?

2. Onboarding survey questions for 60 day review

a) Engagement related questions

  1. Would you recommend the company to others in your network?
  2. Do you see yourself working here in 2 years?
  3. Do you feel motivated to come to work in the morning?
  4. Do you feel prepared for your role?

b) Onboarding experience

  1. Did the first 30 days of onboarding go as expected?
  2. What is the one thing you would like to change from your experience so far?

c) Company policies

  1. Are you clear on the different company policies shared with you?
  2. Do you have any concerns about any of the policies that you would like to highlight?
  3. Do you think any policy is missing that you think must be a part of our governance?

d) Questions about team

  1. Have your team members been integral in smooth onboarding?
  2. Have you been able to connect and collaborate with all your team members?
  3. Do you consider your team members to be welcoming and inclusive?
  4. What is the thing you would like to change about how your team works currently?

e) Reflection questions

  1. Have you been able to achieve the goals you set out for your 60 days?
  2. How has your journey been so far?
  3. What has been your biggest accomplishment in 60 days?
  4. What are some achievements you would like to ensure in the next 30 days?

3. Onboarding survey questions for 90 day review

a) Role and expectation clarity

  1. Do you have an understanding of what is expected from you as a part of this role?
  2. Is your role similar to what was communicated to you during the hiring process?
  3. Do you have the necessary resources you need for the role?
  4. Do you have clarity of your goals?
  5. Do you understand how your work will be evaluated?
  6. Does your role meet your career aspirations?
  7. What do you think is the most difficult part about your role?
  8. What excites you most about your current role?
  9. Do you understand the importance of the work you do?

b) Organizational alignment

  1. Do your values align with the organizational values?
  2. Do you believe in the vision and mission of the organization?
  3. Do you believe your ideas are valued?
  4. Do you have clarity on the organization’s future plans and do you align with them?
  5. Do you see yourself as a part of this organization 5 years from now?

c) Manager support

  1. Have your conversations with the managers been effective?
  2. Does your manager support your career aspirations?
  3. Does your manager provide you with the necessary support to perform your role effectively?
  4. Do you receive regular feedback from your manager?
  5. Does your manager include you in key discussions, wherever applicable?

d) Other questions

  1. What are some of the challenges you have faced so far?
  2. Do you feel your onboarding was successful?
  3. How can we help you in improving the overall experience?
  4. Do you feel included and accepted by everyone in the team?
  5. How do you see yourself progressing from here?
  6. Do you have access to all the information you need?

Wrapping up (TL:DR)

By now, it would be very clear to you that an employee onboarding survey can help you in multiple ways to create a high performance culture. It can enable you to augment retention, engagement, satisfaction and advocacy among employees to ensure that there is minimal turnover and you are able to attract high quality talent. Ensure that you roll out an onboarding survey at 30/60/90 days frequency to check onboarding experience, knowledge transfer, manager support, role clarity, etc. 

You should focus on other forms of employee feedback on culture, training and development opportunities, level of engagement, manager effectiveness, workplace collaboration, work-life balance, among others. 

Finally, you should focus on leveraging technology and automation to add efficiency and effectiveness to your onboarding survey and process. 

Research shows, automating onboarding tasks resulted in a 16% increase in retention rates for new hires.

Thus, consider partnering with a survey platform which enables you to:

  • Use science-backes best practices onboarding survey templates
  • Track employee milestones automatically and roll out surveys on due date with zero to minimal manual intervention 
  • Integrate surveys with existing chat tools for reminders and sending out survey questions
  • Use NLP for decoding sentiments behind open comments to understand the reason behind each response
  • Use other employee engagement surveys to get the whole picture of new hire engagement

Related Reading

How to use employee engagement survey comments

Best employee engagement survey tools in the market today

min read

How to Give Constructive Feedback? (With Examples)

When it comes to performance management for employees, you would agree that feedback plays an important role. However, only offering positive feedback and appreciating the performance of your employees is not enough. You need to give them an equal amount of constructive feedback which is specific to ensure high levels of performance. If you feel that your employees may not embrace constructive feedback, think again.

Research shows that 92% of people believe that constructive feedback is effective at improving performance.

In this article we will help you understand how you can give constructive feedback and examples you can leverage. 

What is constructive feedback?

Constructive feedback is essentially a tool that most forward looking professionals leverage to help others in their team with specific and constructive inputs on areas where one’s performance can be improved. Put simply, if you have an employee who doesn’t pay attention to detail, constructive feedback involves helping them acknowledge that this is a problem area, and more than that, enabling them with the support to overcome the same. It involves not only identifying a performance problem, but also, providing action items and ways to address the same. 

Importance of constructive feedback

Now that you have an understanding of what constructive feedback means, let’s quickly look at some of the top reasons why constructive feedback is important. Constructive feedback:

  • Improves performance: It enables your team members to understand how they can perform better with specific inputs on areas of improvement
  • Reinforces expectations: It helps your employees clearly gauge what is expected out of them in terms of performance, and sets clear deliverables and measurement parameters to avoid any surprises during performance appraisal
  • Boosts morale and confidence: It involves also appreciating employees for a job well done and illustrates how they can become a better version of themselves
  • Facilitates employee stickiness: It ensures that employees see your organization which cares about their professional growth and encourages them to stick around longer, and even act as advocates for others.

Positive feedback vs constructive feedback 

When delivering feedback, you must understand the difference between positive and constructive feedback and ensure that you use both of them where they fit the best. Here a quick distinction between positive feedback vs constructive feedback:

  • Positive feedback focuses on a job well done and highlights where an employee has excelled. Whereas, constructive feedback talks about areas of improvement and action items for desirable outcomes. 
  • While positive feedback seeks to reinforce the positive behavior, constructive feedback focuses more on facts and traits.
  • Positive feedback is a reflection of the past performance and doesn’t necessarily have a futuristic orientation, however, constructive feedback takes reference from the past to feed better performance in the future.  
  • “Your presentation during the board meeting was crisp and informative” is an example of positive feedback. Whereas, “While your presentation was informative, you can focus more on articulation to ensure that all your research is communicated in a way that everyone is able to understand. Using pointers can help here”, is an example of constructive feedback.
In a nutshell, positive feedback is a reinforcement tool, whereas constructive feedback is a mechanism to facilitate development. 

How to give constructive feedback

With an understanding of the fundamentals of constructive feedback, let’s quickly jump to the best practices which can help you deliver constructive feedback in a nuanced and effective manner. 

1. Decide when to give the constructive feedback

The first thing you need to focus on is ensuring that the timing of the constructive feedback is ideal. For instance, a busy period when the employee is putting in a lot of effort may not be ideal for giving them feedback about their performance from three months ago. At the same time, ensure that you provide constructive feedback regularly and consistently, to avoid recency or primacy bias. However, don’t offer feedback when you are angry about their performance either. 

2. Set the context and build trust

Before you get down to giving the feedback, set the tone. Share with the employee the purpose of the meeting and make them comfortable prior to sharing your reflections. It is important that you build trust so your employees can share their perspective and don’t feel intimidated by what you have to say. 

3. Share your reflections

Once the context and tone is set, start sharing your reflections. Your focus should be on sharing what you have observed about their performance. However, ensure that you also share how the same is likely to impact their career growth as well as organizational success. For instance, if you are providing constructive feedback about missing deadlines, you can use the impact of losing clients for the organization and a casual attitude marker for the employee.

4. Give specific examples

When sharing reflections, use specific examples of when you noticed a particular behavior. For instance, in the above example, you can share instances of when the employee missed his/her deadlines. Ensure that you use examples which illustrate a pattern, rather than a one off incident, which is very uncommon. Furthermore, always use concrete examples and not interpretation of what you hear or see.   

5. Balance positive and negative

With constructive feedback, your focus should be on helping the employee improve their performance and work on their areas of development.

However, simply pointing out their weaknesses or negatives in their performance will not help. You need to also talk about some of the positive aspects of their performance and how those qualities can help them absorb and implement their constructive feedback. 

6. Be empathetic

Emotional intelligence is extremely important when delivering constructive feedback. You cannot be apathetic towards your employee when delivering the same. Put yourself in their shoes to choose your phrases carefully. We will share some examples in the next section. Also, use your EQ to read the situation when you are delivering the feedback. If you see that the employee is getting uncomfortable, take a pause and comfort them first. Read their gestures and body language to ensure that the employee is not feeling attacked. 

7. Don’t make it personal

Like it or not, constructive feedback involves pointing out one’s weaknesses and areas of improvement. However, you should refrain from equating the performance of the employee with his/her personality or whole self. For instance, if someone misses deadlines, encourage them to be more organized or prioritize important work, than labeling them as a procrastinator. 

8. Encourage response from the other side

While you are delivering the constructive feedback, you have to make sure it is a dialogue.

The idea is to give the other person enough room to share their side of the story.

Try to understand whether or not they agree with your feedback and how they perceive the same. They may share the lack of support or resources, which have resulted in a weak performance. Be open to some reverse feedback as well. Again, your EQ must be at play here. If your employee has an outburst, or reacts negatively, you need to stay composed and calm them down. 

9. Discuss potential solutions

Once you and your employee are aligned on the areas of improvement, the most important part of constructive feedback is to provide adequate solutions to address the performance challenges. Don’t give abstract or vague solutions like be punctual if the employee misses deadlines. Rather, give very specific and action oriented solutions which are directed towards a particular outcome. The idea is to collectively understand the cause of the weak area of performance and use concrete solutions to remedy the same. 

10. Create a time bound action plan

Now that you have shared some potential solutions, you must revise the top action items with your employee to avoid any confusion. At the same time, you should focus on creating a time bound plan with key milestones to ensure that development is taking place. Summarize what was discussed and how you will proceed from there. Best is to set up a date to review the progress to ensure constructive feedback is paid heed to. 

Read our article on Start Stop Continue Feedback to give action oriented feedback

20 Constructive feedback examples 

Here are top 20 constructive feedback examples that you can use during your next conversation. To make your constructive feedback more effective, we have also illustrated examples of what you should steer away from.

1. Communication skills

Example of how to give constructive feedback

I would really like to know how you have progressed on the tasks assigned to you last month. It would be ideal if you could share a progress update on what has been achieved with a small summary of challenges/ support needed at the end of every week to ensure everyone is on the same page.

Example of how not to give constructive feedback

You have not kept your team updated about your work, this is highly unprofessional.

2. Attention to detail

Example of how to give constructive feedback

I was going through the work you submitted last week and I can see you have put in a lot of effort. However, I could see that there were some small errors and inaccuracies in the report across multiple sections. I believe that if you proofread your work thoroughly before turning it in, it will reduce the number of iterations and improve your quality of work. 

Example of how not to give constructive feedback

You seem completely distracted as you have been submitting flawed and below average work, this will not be tolerated. 

3. Time management

Example of how to give constructive feedback

I understand that you are working on multiple projects, however, you need to ensure that the most important projects are not overlooked and their timelines are not missed. Therefore, I would suggest you create a list of tasks you are working on and check with the respective reporting managers on the priority and set clear expectations to ensure that no deadlines are missed. 

Example of how not to give constructive feedback

You have missed your deadline again, it seems like you are not serious about you work. 

4. Goal achievement

Example of how to give constructive feedback

I see that you have been able to achieve only a part of the goals that you set out for this year. Maybe you were trying to spread yourself too thin. I would suggest you reduce the number of projects you are working on and ensure that the goals you set you are able to achieve. Furthermore, you must be vocal about the support or resources you need to achieve your goals. 

Example of how not to give constructive feedback

Are you even serious about your work, your level of goal achievement indicates otherwise. 

5. Absenteeism

Example of how to give constructive feedback

I see that you have been taking some time off lately, without any prior intimation. Let’s try to understand if there is a particular reason for the same. We can work on your schedule to make it more flexible. 

Example of how not to give constructive feedback

You have been missing all meetings lately, this tardiness is not appreciated. 

6. Problem solving

Example of how to give constructive feedback

I see that you are excellent at execution of ideas. However, I believe that you need to focus more on coming up with solutions on your own. I would suggest participating more in the brainstorming sessions and coming up with solutions. Try to think on your own, before you reach out to others with the problem.

Example of how not to give constructive feedback

You lack any problem solving capabilities, and will be stuck to execution for the rest of your career.

Wrapping up

Constructive feedback is integral to organizational success. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Always use facts and examples to deliver constructive feedback
  • Don’t forget to differentiate between positive and constructive feedback
  • Make sure you have practical tips or suggestions 
  • Leverage specific constructive feedback examples for specific performance problems, instead of being vague

Related Reading

50 top 360 degree feedback question examples

150 performance review phrases

min read

How to Use Performance Management Cycle for High Performance Teams

While performance management has been a key priority for organizations, for a long time, year end reviews were considered to be the most effective way to facilitate the same. However, recently organizations are observing a shift towards continuous performance management with an introduction of the performance management cycle. This article will focus on different aspects of the performance management cycle and how it enables unlocking the potential of high performance teams. 

What is a performance management cycle?

Before going into the diverse aspects, you should first understand what a performance management cycle essentially is. If you have an idea of what continuous performance management is, you’re already a step ahead in the understanding. Performance management cycle primarily is a way or a model in which you evaluate or focus on the performance of your employees throughout the year. The idea is to break down the different elements of employee performance into different stages and focus on them consistently. It starts with setting goals and ends with rewards for a job well done, which leads to setting of new goals and the performance management cycle resets.  

Understanding 4 stages of the performance management cycle

While you may want to divide your performance management cycle into any number of stages, mostly there are four stages. 


The first stage, at the very beginning of the performance management cycle, focuses on creating a plan for the performance ahead. The idea is to have a clear understanding on what your employee must achieve and how you will eventually review and evaluate them. During the planning stage, you and your team member, collectively should:

  • Set SMART goals of OKRs based on the performance expectations
  • Have clear KPIs or metrics which you will use for performance appraisal
  • Clarify how individual goals or OKRs contribute to organizational vision

Thus, the planning stage of the performance management cycle sets the tone for the year ahead and ensures there is clarity at all levels. 


Once the goals have been set in the planning stage, you enter the monitoring stage of the performance management cycle. This stage essentially focuses on ensuring that things are moving as planned. The idea is to ascertain that your team members are more or less on track for specific milestones outlined as a part of goal setting. Additionally, this stage will help you address any performance challenges that you may observe, sooner than later. Monitoring stage includes:

  • Regular one-on-one meetings to review performance so far
  • Providing feedback to your team members on what you think has been going well and what needs to improve
  • Relooking at goals in case they are behind or ahead of schedule in terms of achievement
  • Understanding the kind of extra support or resources your team members might need to improve their performance
  • Having candid conversations with your employees on wellbeing, professional development objectives, and other factors which may impact performance, morale and engagement 

The monitoring stage essentially focuses on tracking the performance of your employees against the set goals to provide constructive feedback and help them perform better. 


The third stage of the performance management cycle comes into existence towards the end. It involves reviewing the performance and providing ratings based on the established KPIs and metrics. While this is the formal review process, if you have been constantly monitoring the performance of your employees, this will essentially be a consolidation of all the reviews and feedback shared overtime. While delivering performance reviews, ensure that you:

  • Shed any performance review biases that might come your way, including primacy effect, recency bias, halo/horns effect, etc. 
  • Give your employees concrete examples and facts to support your review, rather than being vague and ambiguous
  • Should try to get 360 degree feedback and review for your team members
  • Answer some of the following questions to create an informed review:
  1. Did the employee achieve the goals set out?
  2. What were the key enablers in their achievement?
  3. Did you observe growth in the employee during the performance management cycle?
  4. Did the employee share any concerns, and were they addressed?

Since you have been connecting regularly with your employees, the reviews will not come as a surprise to them, but will help you monitor the trends of their performance and guide the next stage for the employee’s professional growth. 


Finally, the rewarding stage in the performance management cycle acts as a culmination to one cycle and sets stage for the commencement of the next. The objective is to take into account their performance over the performance management cycle and create a culture of rewards and recognition to celebrate and appreciate high performance. Some of the quick ways to reward your employees include, giving them:

  • Healthy increments and promotions
  • Public appreciation through social media, company intranet
  • Bonuses and other incentives
  • Rewards like vouchers, gifts, etc. 

This stage is important to make your employees feel valued and motivate them to keep the performance going. It will also push average performers to step up their efforts and enable you to create a high performance culture. 

Why is a performance management cycle important?

Now that you understand the various stages of a performance management cycle, let’s quickly look at why the performance management cycle is important for your organization. It will help you:

  • Clearly define goals and expectations from your employees to drive directed performance.
  • Keep your employees engaged. When you constantly connect with your employees for 1-o-1 meetings and consistently take interest in their performance improvement, they are likely to feel engaged, satisfied and motivated.
  • Address performance challenges preemptively and provide your employees with corrective actions, resources and support to bridge performance issues.
  • Retain talent as employees who feel that their performance is being valued and receive regular feedback tend to stay longer at an organization. 

Top 4 ways in which performance management cycle leads to high performance

In addition to the above mentioned benefits, a performance management cycle can help you build a high performance culture in a number of ways. Some of the top aspects include:

Clarifies KPIs and metrics

What constitutes high performance can be abstract. For some, closing 5 deals can be high performance, for others, it might be closing 15. Planning stage in the performance management lifecycle will help your employees understand what constitutes high performance and thus, proceed towards it. 

Boosts recognition

A key part of the performance management cycle is the rewards and recognition. When employees feel their performance is being valued and recognized, they tend to double up their efforts, leading to a high performance team.

Facilitates communication and feedback

Monitoring and tracking followed by 1-o-1 conversations can help you communicate with your employees regularly. Not only will you track their performance, but will also listen to their concerns or challenges and offer them feedback. Such conversations and feedback have a positive impact on performance, leading to a high performance culture. 

Ensures appropriate training

One of the foundations of high performance is enabling your team members to undergo the right training. Performance management cycle can help you understand which training is important for your employees at which performance stage, realizing high quality results. 

Top tips for managers for effective performance management cycle

As a manager, there are several ways in which you can unlock the true potential of a performance management cycle. You are one of the key stakeholders who plays an important role in every stage of the cycle. Here are a few tips that can help you augment the effectiveness of the performance management cycle:

  • Invite employee participation and make the OKR setting process collaborative and action oriented
  • Provide constructive feedback to your employees, instead of being too sweet or too negative
  • Help your employees access the right resources and training they need to meet their goals
  • Give your employees a safe space to share their concerns and challenges
  • Don’t micromanage your employees in the name of monitoring
  • Be open about relooking at the goals in case of a misalignment as you move along the performance management cycle

Benefits of using a performance management tool

A performance management tool can significantly help you streamline your performance management cycle by offering the following benefits. 

Performance snapshots

Get automated performance snapshots of your employee’s performance over the 9 box grid to track performance trends over time and provide reviews without recency bias.

1:1 conversations

Leverage guided templates with AI based suggestions for your 1:1 conversations with employees during the monitoring stage based on performance over time. Receive suggested talking points for goal-centered conversations.

Compare performance

Look at historic feedback to see improvement in performance and compare performance over time. You can also compare performance of peers over specific parameters. 

Related Reading

How to create a high performance culture using OKRs

7 steps to effective performance management system

12 common performance review biases to avoid

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