Getting the C-Level Ready for Upward Feedback

Surprisingly, the most drastic change when introducing a feedback culture will most likely occur at the C-level. If your company wasn’t used to giving regular feedback previously, the C-level are the last group that would have received feedback from anyone. The steeper the hierarchical structure the greater the impact 360-degree feedback will have on the executive level. This is part of an increasing move from traditional to more flat organizational structures. Prepare executives for the change with these tips:


1. Align expectations for executives in their role & collaboration


The executive level will play an integral role in shaping your new feedback culture. As such it’s important that both HR and the c-level form a plan for promoting and shaping the feedback culture you want to create. Executives should lead the transition by example, that includes demonstrating their willingness to take on employee feedback. If a sense of trust isn’t created, employees won’t feel comfortable speaking up.


2. Allow anonymous feedback


Employees are often hesitant at first to give their managers feedback. When it comes to the executive level this will be even more difficult. Providing anonymous channels for giving feedback will ensure everyone’s voice is heard.


3. All Hands Q&A Sessions

Industry leaders, such as Facebook, are now having weekly all-hands meetings during which the CEO and executive level employees publicly answer questions submitted to them anonymously by employees. This is a great first step to publicly demonstrate the C-level’s commitment to creating a feedback culture.

Photo by Andrew Neel