As an executive, you are fully aware that the success of your company depends largely on your employees. They are the people who take care of customers directly and make things happen on a daily basis. Their knowledge of the customer experience and company processes make them uniquely qualified to weigh in on how to make things run more smoothly. But first, you have to develop a culture that encourages and rewards feedback from employees. If the employees do not love your business why will your customers?
In order for employees to give feedback willingly and freely, it needs to be an accepted practice that is done routinely. A relaxed culture where employees feel comfortable providing their ideas is best. Employees need to feel safe in providing this kind of information, and there must be an atmosphere of trust. If employees are concerned about facing negative consequences, they will not provide the valuable feedback that could be beneficial for the company and other employees.
It is well documented that employees who feel valued stay in their jobs longer. Companies with employees that are encouraged and expected to contribute ideas and opinions experience lower turnover. Therefore, receiving employee feedback should be an ongoing process.
A good practice is to request suggestions at the beginning of each project, or when there is an issue that needs to be resolved, such as with customer satisfaction. Employees have insight that senior leadership may not possess. Another forum where feedback can be obtained easily is during an informal gathering such as a lunch or an after-hours company activity such as a bowling league, softball team, or yoga class. When possible, leaders should meet with staff members individually on a regular basis and then check in quarterly for a more in-depth conversation.
It may be tempting to allow employees to give feedback anonymously, but it is more beneficial for all concerned when there is an open dialogue where ideas can be shared. Provide forms and questionnaires that employees can quickly complete and return by email to get the ball rolling. Ask if they have ideas about ways to improve processes or make the customer experience more satisfying. Seek their feedback regarding issues that will directly affect them. Once this becomes familiar, employees will feel at ease providing feedback by email or text or even an old-fashioned telephone call.
More workers will contribute when you recognize those who provide helpful feedback. When you implement something that an employee suggested, recognize them in front of the whole group. Reward their efforts. Compliment and praise those who provide constructive criticism, input regarding best practices, and process improvement ideas. When employees feel validated, they will feel that they are an important part of the team. Job satisfaction will increase, and that means less turnover which ultimately saves time and money.
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At Allan Hirsh Advisors we believe in making a difference in the lives of CEOs and Business owners. We help you discover why you do what you do, understand your personal and professional visions. We ask questions, listen to you, give you feedback so you can make better decisions that align with your why and your visions and hold you accountable for your decisions. All this so you can improve your life and improve the lives of the people around you. If you are interested in taking your business to the next level then contact Allan Hirsh Advisors to learn how we can Create AHA! Moments for you.
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