Here’s How to Manage Negative Feedback Efficiently

While conducting an employee feedback survey, one of the first things you need to remember is how to cope with negative employee reviews. Getting negative feedback doesn’t mean that your employees think you’re a bad person. The worst-case scenario is that they’re only pointing out shortcomings in your management style that they think you could improve.

You’re not expected to take the negative reviews about your company personally. Your employees work hard for you and take care of the future of your company. Use negative feedback as a building block to create a successful company, become a more effective boss, and become a stronger leader.

Unfortunately, it’s not always going to sound that way at first, and that’s why many managers grapple with how to handle negative employee feedback. However, despite the fact that employee feedback can often be blunt and even borderline, it’s important to always look at it from the point of view that it’s something to be thankful.

In reality, negative feedback from employees is much better than no feedback from employees. You really should start worrying when your workers don’t even bother giving negative feedback because that means that they don’t really care about what’s going on with your business.

Approaching it with a sense of appreciation and understanding that it is nothing more than an opportunity for change will help you form your answer to be as useful as possible. Negative employee feedback is intended to help the organization grow and develop, and can also lead to your personal evolution as a manager. Below are a few steps that should be taken to handle it in the best possible way.

Don’t Respond Immediately

You would be tempted to respond to your employees right after getting negative reviews, but instead, you should take a deep breath and relax. You don’t want your feelings to get the best of you to the point that you say something that you might regret later.

Also, if you get this negative employee feedback in person, where it can be even more incredibly tempting to respond immediately, you can also take some time to process what the person says before you say something.

That said, you can speak to your workers not too long after you collect feedback through an employee opinion survey (e.g., later that week). The last thing you want is that their negative feedback goes too long without being answered, as they might start believing that you’re absolutely eschewing it.

Emphasis on Urgent Issues

With a backlash of negative reviews thrown in your way, it’s easy to slip into a panic believing that any issue needs to be fixed immediately. However, doing too much at once can actually turn out to be counter-productive and just make things worse by stretching everyone too thinly, particularly managers.

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to how you can pick what to concentrate on when it’s time to deal with negative employee reviews. You may choose to solve cross-departmental problems or choose to address the top concerns that each department needs to face individually.

It is highly recommended that you start with concerns that are repeatedly posed by multiple employees, as these are problems in your company that can be described as systemic.

Show Your Workers That What They Say Is Important to You

It doesn’t make sense to ask the workers for their input if their opinions just fall on deaf ears. After processing the negative feedback you received from your employees, let your actions prove that you care for what they have to say and that their feelings really mean something to you.

You should arrange a follow-up meeting with your team to discuss possible solutions to the issues that have arisen. Your workers are very likely to have brilliant ideas about how to change things. Listen to what they have to say and strive to implement the best proposed ideas into effect as quickly as possible.

This is a simple way to give the staff a greater sense of ownership and better engagement.


Don’t just ask the workers for their input and ignore it all. If you ask your workers for input, and the feedback doesn’t result in any improvement, they’ll feel cheated out of their time, effort, and emotional work.

If you are ready to get started with employee feedback surveys, you need to be prepared to do something about it, even if you don’t like what you hear.

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