Getting the Goods: Helping Team Members to Speak Up Effectively

Listen, Hear and Understand words on a three arrow cycle or syst

During recent conversations with business owners and managers, we spoke of the challenges that happen when employees don’t share their perspective of what is happening in the organization. Many managers and business owners genuinely want to create a positive atmosphere at work. Yet, many employees have had workplaces where their feedback was not valued, so helping them trust your open culture can take time.

What can help?

  1. Set the stage for open dialogue. Spend time during employee onboarding to discuss the open culture. Even if it’s the culture you are working to create then share your goal with your new hires.
  2. Get to know your employees as individuals – both as people and as employees. Take the time to sit down and understand what their passion, purpose and plans. Ask them what they are really proud of in their work, what they do well enough, and what 2 things would you like to improve.
  3. Meet regularly on 1-1 basis to check in, how are they experiencing their work? What’s going well and how can you assist them with any challenges. What training and coaching do they need to help them? Use Reflective Listening to ensure you are really hearing their message.
  4. Be open to feedback. Ask how they are experiencing your leadership. Consider getting a 360 Review where all the individuals you influence in your work give feedback.
  5. Take the feedback and make active and sustaining changes that reflect the value you place on their feedback. You may wish to hire an Executive Coach to work with you on your blind spots and to assist you through the process of change.

Communication is always a two-way process. So, helping your employees to trust your desire for their input requires your dedication to ensuring that you really listen and take appropriate action. Keep the lines of communication open and make invitations on a regular basis so they can share their input.

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