How To Take Management Feedback
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Getting employees to feel comfortable sharing constructive feedback can be difficult. Barriers to two-way communication range from fear of saying something that might be perceived as negative to a general disposition to not “rock the boat.” Yet honest employee feedback is crucial to overcoming challenges and managing a successful business. How can you go about getting it? The following six tips can help.
Step 1: Keep More Than An Open Door
It’s one thing to say your door is always open, but truly being open for feedback requires more than just passage into your office. Besides, many employees are intimidated by venturing into the boss’ office in the first place. By being proactive and giving employees multiple ways to get in touch, such as suggestion boxes and informal one-on-ones, you’ll clearly indicate that you’re sincere about getting their input.
Step 2: Reward Those Who Speak Up
When an employee voices an opinion, especially one that’s critical, he or she is taking a risk. How you respond can make or break the feedback chain that’s vital to maintaining productive communication. Whether the message is good or bad, reward the messenger with an honest commitment to try and resolve the issue and thank them for coming forward. Reacting poorly or letting your emotions get the best of you is a sure-fire way to lose an important source.
Step 3: Foster An Ownership Mindset
Employees who are invested in the business are more likely to share input they feel will help the company. To keep employees engaged, be proactive by sharing your vision, plans for future growth – even the company’s financial performance. The more your employees know the more they’ll feel they’re contributing to the company’s success. Additional ways to foster ownership might include being part of a feedback panel that speaks on behalf of employees.
Step 4: Go To Bat
Nothing deflates morale more than a manager who won’t go to bat for his or her employees. First, it prevents constructive criticism from hitting its intended target (i.e. someone who can do something about it). Second, it virtually guarantees that this potential source of feedback will dry up. So, no matter how difficult it might be to bring feedback to upper management, going to bat sends a strong message to employees that their opinions count.
Step 5: Be Proactive
If you’re waiting for feedback to come to you, you’ll never get the complete picture. Superiors who succeed seek out opinions by going to the source or working with key people they can trust to tell the truth. By rolling up your sleeves and seeking out sources of feedback, you’ll send a message that you’re serious about getting input that’s necessary to run your business more efficiently.
Step 6: Use Every Tool At Your Disposal
Suggestion boxes and opinion surveys are tried and true methods for getting employee feedback. However, in today’s day and age, mediums such as Facebook and Twitter can also be mined for input on what employees are thinking. If your business has a Facebook page or Twitter account, keep an eye on what employees might be posting. Some aren’t shy about sharing their opinions, and their posts may prove enlightening.
Feedback can come in many ways, shapes and forms. By managing it correctly and fostering and environment that rewards it, your business can make the most of it.