I apologize for potential typos - English isn't my first language.

I work as a junior manager in a small fully remote company and recently we've been given a new senior manager after our previous one was fired.

Our company decided to start having direct reports also contribute to the quarterly reviews of any manager and I've been asked to give feedback to the new senior. Here's the problem - we've technically worked together for two months but in that time, I've been on PTO for a month due to a health scare and I can't leave the "two ways x can improve" and "two ways we both can improve" fields blank.

The senior is an absolute gem to work with compared to the previous senior. For one, they actually take what I say into account as I'm the main person our team interacts with on a daily basis and they have four other teams they also oversee. They have given me opportunities to improve my management skills and have listened to and suggested ways I could go about certain issues I've been facing. There's literally nothing they've done that could warrant anything remotely close to an "improvement opportunity".

I've considered writing something in the lines of:

"We haven't worked for long enough to determine any improvement opportunities"

I've had a similar issue with another addition to the team and when I asked the manager for tips, they said that I should simply nitpick as hard as I can, which I simply don't think it's a good idea, especially when there's nothing to nitpick.

I'd appreciate any pointers and suggestions :)

  • 1
    "improvement opportunities" are often code for "where does that person suck", but that's not the only way to interpret it. Improvement can happen in two ways: address a weakness or double down on a core strength to become even better. The latter option is often overlooked and can be very valuable for both the employee and the company. Maybe you can go this way: find a good strength and think about how to crank this up to "rock star" level performance.
    – Hilmar
    Commented Apr 26 at 13:33

1 Answer 1


Because you have to write something you have a couple of choices:

  • Write some trivial praise or trivial criticism; But that could make you seem un-serious, or that the person you are reviewing is perfect.
  • Make up something; But that could make you seem un-serious if it is discovered, or actions could be taken even though the comments weren't real.
  • Fill the required box, but explain why you can't provide the requested feedback.

You have suggested:

We haven't worked for long enough to determine any improvement opportunities

This fits option 3. You have filled the box, the comment showed you took the request seriously, and you have explained your reasoning.

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