Don’t Ask If You Can’t Handle the Truth

As business owners, you want content and engaged employees who stay for the long haul. That requires open lines of communication and an effort on your part to seek feedback to improve employee morale and culture. However, sometimes it is hard to handle the truth, and some business owners don’t believe their team’s suggestions have value.

Asking for input and then not initiating a plan to repair the problem is like adding more fuel to the fire.

It is one of the biggest mistakes you can make as a leader. When you ask but do nothing in return, employee engagement decreases dramatically. Employees will share less and less with you because they have witnessed you will not change. They soon believe it is only the boss’s opinion that matters.

While it is your company, these beliefs are dangerous and will cripple the relationships you might have already developed. Asking for suggestions and input is crucial to keeping employees safe and engaged in their roles.

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Your teams want to share feedback with you, so make certain to open the door and welcome them in. Take the time to understand their concerns and work together to create a solution.

When employees believe their input counts, they will be more engaged in their roles and within the team. Remember, a strong leader listens, incorporates, and acts for the benefit of their employees. Your employees will then help achieve what you want for yourself and your company — and hopefully stick around for years.

  • Understand the feedback; do not just hear what you want to hear.
  • Ask non-aggressive questions to clarify their responses if they are unclear. Replay what you heard by repeating back to them what you think you heard them tell you. Allow time for the employee to verify you received the message correctly.
  • Listen again and replay back what you heard a second time.
  • Find something positive in the feedback; even when the message is negative.
  • State to the person who supplied the feedback the exact area that needs change.
  • Work with the employee, manager or team to develop a solution together.
  • Choose one step to focus on first. Small bites will equal better success.
  • State to your employee or team what you will do and commit to it.
  • Provide a timeline to your team and stick to it.