As difficult as it might be to hear this…
….no matter how good a leader you are and no matter how committed your employees are…
…there will be things that they are not telling you.
How do I know?
Quite simply from the work that I have been doing with teams over the last 3 years. During conversations feeding back DISC profile reports, in team feedback surveys and through carrying out regular team appraisals.
In all of those instances there have been things employees have shared with me that they have told me they wouldn’t have shared with their employer. Some of them are seemingly minor things, like they would prefer a water dispenser rather than serving customers with water from the tap, to wanting a radio playing in the office.
But there are some bigger things that they are not likely telling you
“I hate meetings.”
While you might think your weekly or quarterly meetings are an essential tool to get everyone on the same page, most of your employees probably see them as time lost.
In my opinion it isn’t about the number of meetings, it is more about the way the meetings are run and their lack of productivity.
My first tip would be to make sure that when you diarise a meeting you have a clearly stated objective. Then only invite the people who need to be there. Also have a defined time and duration for the meeting and stick to it. Finally make sure that someone is taking notes and that before the meeting closes you go back over the key actions and assign specific responsibilities to people
“I’d love to give you feedback but I’m afraid of being honest.”
Employees don’t just crave feedback, they’d also like to give honest feedback as well. Unfortunately, most employees just don’t feel comfortable enough to share their real feelings with bosses. For many there is an underlying fear of saying the ‘wrong thing’ and risking their jobs.
But importantly, as people working in the business and with your customers, it is likely that they will have great ideas for how to improve things. Which you’ll never know about unless you create a safe space to share these thoughts.
“I wish you kept us in the loop.”
Employees want to feel involved, but often the levels of communication are not appropriate. In some companies it is the frequency or consistency with which information about the company is shared. In other cases it is the type of communication that isn’t as effective as it could be.
For example in many businesses the information shared is at an operational, or nitty gritty level, rather than a business level.
Clearly communicated business goals are essential and also the sharing of company performance information. Employees will feel more engaged and motivated to give that bit more effort, if they can see their role in the businesses success.
If you can find a way to really tap into what your employees think, perhaps through an externally facilitated team feedback or appraisal process, it can have a significant positive impact on their motivation.
So my question to you today is quite simple…
What do you think? What are your employees not telling you?
Get in touch if you want some help to really find out.