Not Everyone Feels Empowered by Feedback!

Some people are not empowered by recieiving feedback

The feedback environment created by supervisors can develop employee empowerment

Supervisors need to be encouraged to move away from a ‘one-size fits all’ feedback environment, in order to support employee empowerment. A feedback environment is created by informal, daily feedback exchanges between supervisors and team members. Research1 shows that receiving feedback is not always enough to increase an employee’s perception of empowerment. The researchers found that:

  • Supervisors who created a positive feedback environment were more likely to help employees both feel comfortable to receive feedback, and also find work meaningful. Meaningful work linked organisational expectations of jobs with individual beliefs, values and employee empowerment
  • Individuals with a preference for receiving feedback found work meaningful, had a positive supervisor relationship and felt empowered.
  • Individuals who were not comfortable receiving feedback tended to be less likely to find meaning at work, had a less positive relationship with their supervisor and felt less empowered than those who were comfortable receiving feedback.
Hold conversations

Employees without a preference for receiving feedback may not feel empowered

Therefore, supervisors should be supported to gauge the predominant feedback preference among team members. Where a majority of employees prefer receiving feedback, a high feedback environment created by the supervisor would be valuable. However, where employees have a low preference for feedback, a minimal feedback environment may be advantageous.


1 Gabriel, Frantz, Levy and Hilliard, (2014) The Supervisor feedback environment is empowering, but not all the time: Feedback orientation as a critical moderator, Journal of Occupational and Organisational Psychology, 87, 487-506

Reach us at 07779 345 499,

Marjorie Raymond

Marjorie Raymond

T: 07779 345 499


We have experience in developing senior managers and their team members – both on an individual and team level – so they can develop practical approaches that encourage positive, constructive behaviour. This, in turn, leads to the development of positive beliefs and values. We are ready work with you, to help you get the best out of your people.

Here are some examples of approaches that can be used and tailored to your individual needs:

  • Special projects, secondments and assignments
  • Mediation, to address workplace conflict
  • Personal development activities
  • Individual and group coaching…Coaching – a powerful way of developing people
  • Psychometric assessment, which can identify strengths as well as derailing behaviours and also include 360 degree feedback
  • Structured module for understanding the psychological contracts in your organisation, both at an individual or team level

Straight Talking: …Straight Talking create change through conversations