- Tune Out of the News – and Boost Your Productivity
- Saying “No” Can Be Positive
- Questions to Encourage Feedback from Employees
- English as She Should be Writ
- Bad to Good Ideas
- How Can You Make Your Virtual Team More Efficient?
- From Colleague to Boss – Coping with the Transition
- Are Your Employees Accountable?
- Insisting on High Standards
- When Things Go Wrong
- Can HR Help to Manage the Impact of Cyber Attacks?
- How Do You Respond to Stress?
- Take a Break
- Plant Manslaughter
- Integrity in Business
- Dynamic Decisions Win the Day (And the Year)
- Attract The Best, Deflect The Rest
- Is Menopause a Disability?
- Why You Don’t Want Rock Star Recruits in Your Business
- Small is Beautiful
- Developing Your Employer Brand
- Mr President… I’d like a Word With You
- What Do Your Employees Really Think About You?
- Damned Lies and Excuses
- 15 Advantages to Working in a Small Business
- The Curious Case of The Bacon Baguette…
- New Year, New Me….
- Want to Recruit Rock Star Employees?
- Reflective Practice: The Key to Doing Things Better
- Do You Have a Dream Team in Your Workplace?
Questions to Encourage Feedback from Employees
Business owners and managers need to get information from their teams. If they don’t they risk living in an “executive bubble”. That said, managers are often mistaken about how easy it is for other more junior staff to speak honestly to them. If you want your team to give clear and direct feedback, start by asking yourself a few questions.
How interested are you in other people’s opinions? (Be honest!)
Whose opinions are you most interested in hearing? Whose do you tend to be impatient with or dismiss? What data do you listen to most, and what are you largely deaf to?
Maintaining genuine curiosity about other peoples’ perspectives is necessary if you’re going to get the feedback you’re requesting. It also requires a degree of humility (not always easy for senior managers), so be patient and open-minded.
Does it feel risky for others to give feedback to you?
How do you respond when challenged? If you tend to interrupt. Argue (before you’ve even heard what’s being suggested) and/ or disagree in a bad tempered way a more junior member of your team may not have the courage to give you honest feedback.
How aware are you of workplace politics?
Politics is an inherent part working life, especially if you occupy a senior role. Enabling others to speak up means understanding why a person might be saying what they are saying. Are you able to “listen between the lines” to decide how to progress?
How do people describe you? How do you describe others?
When we meet with others, we tend to pigeonhole them. For example, we badge others as “CEO,” “consultant,” “young,” “woman,” “new,” or “sales,” and these labels mean different things to different people. Labelling of this type tends to create tacit rules around who can speak, who gets heard, who gets taken seriously. It’s unhelpful because it can limit the flow of feedback. Be aware of such descriptions and the impact they might have and try to remove the label.
What do you need to do and say to enable others to speak frankly?
Make it safer and easier for team members to speak up. How you do that is up to you and there are plenty of ways to do so. You could: reduce status difference by dressing more casually or introduce a process, for example, a “red card” at meetings to ensure someone has the ability to challenge you.
Above all be prepared to listen and reflect on what you hear. Ask for supporting evidence if it’s needed, but think about it before responding.
If you want to be a more approachable leader give some thought to the five points considered here. If you value straight talking feedback take steps to acknowledge the differences in levels of authority and encourage others to give feedback to you.
We deal with the good, the bad and the ugly of HR. If you need help sorting out HR problems, building your dream team or any other HR issues, give us a call on 01908 262628.
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