Is your team brimming with good ideas but also hesitant to share them with you? Do they feel disconnected from you and other company management? Studies repeatedly show that over 50 percent of Americans dislike their jobs. Are your employees in that 50%?
How can you encourage your team to open up about their jobs and provide the insights you need to succeed as their manager? Try these five tips for feedback success.
First, make sure all of your employees know their department’s goals and how they support the overall success of the company. Follow up with one-on-one meetings by asking each person how they feel they personally contribute to those goals. If they’re not sure, explain the importance of their role, emphasizing how essential they are to the big picture.
Once everyone understands their part and the direction the team is going, keep each employee in the loop. Make sure they understand delays and changes, as well as the positive effects of their hard work. As a manager, you have an insight and knowledge that they don’t, so keep them informed when possible. One rule of thumb to use is: if you haven’t clearly stated your expectations, don’t assume that they are understood.
In meetings, ask better questions than, “what do you think?” Instead, be specific: “Does anyone know of any obstacles that might get in our way of meeting this deadline?” Then listen to the answers and show that you understand the responses.
Ask for specific feedback before a project begins and again after it’s completed. This feedback should include questions like, “Let’s talk about why we came up short on our goal and see if we can figure out how to improve next month.”
Don’t criticize anyone in public. Save individual corrections for a private meeting.
Don’t just listen to what your employees say. Demonstrate your engagement. Take notes. Give your full attention and provide physical signals of listening closely. Think carefully about what they said and how it does or does not apply to your team’s situation. Follow up with their suggestions and feedback and let them know how it was integrated or why it wasn’t.
Also, be sure to apologize when necessary. Saying, “I’m sorry” with sincerity will show them you truly care. Plus, it will establish relationships based on trust and an open door policy that also allows employees to admit mistakes back to you.
If hands-on engagement with the full team is a little outside of your comfort zone, start small. Look for an opportunity each day to converse with at least one employee, and keep at it until you’ve covered everyone.
Try to see your department’s work from their point of view. Are they frustrated by a lack of time, resources, or headcount? Don’t defend, debate, or judge. Just have a conversation, using language that shows you relate to them, such as, “I see what you’re saying,” or “If I understand you correctly, you mean we should…”
Show your appreciation. Say thank you when someone gives you feedback, whether it’s good or bad. Give credit for a job well done and document the accomplishment so you have a reminder when conducting reviews and preparing for raises and promotions. Pass along pertinent information to other executives and superiors.
When employees realize their contribution is important, when they feel appreciated, and when they understand their part in the bigger picture of the company, they’re more likely to feel engaged in their work and be open about giving you valuable insights and ideas. As a manager, it’s your job to ensure that happens. Follow these five tips and feedback from your team will be flowing!
February 22, 2018
> 50 employees Article Business Owners Care Human Resources