Since you are the boss, it is your responsibility to challenge your team to achieve your goals. For your company to succeed, you need to support and test all your employees in the right way.
Get to know what you do well and find ways of making it even better. In short, you need feedback. If you want to get instant feedback from your employees, this is what you need to do:
1. Ask for ideas
Encourage your employees to come up with new ideas and speak up about things that are not going well. Ensure that in every meeting you have in the company, there is always a slot in the agenda to listen to ideas from the employees. Take time and listen to each one of them and reward the people who speak up with confidence, even if their views are not good enough. Another alternative would be coming up with a central discussion forum that is web-enabled to allow employees to share their ideas and feedback.
2. Confidential complaints
Most employees in companies are afraid of speaking up because they are afraid of the consequences they may face for lodging their complaints. Such a complaint is valid because in most cases people get fired, or in trouble for airing their grievances. Enabling people to raise your concerns anonymously is a proper way of encouraging fearful employees to speak. Companies come up with channels like telephone or an online reporting system. All reports get to a designated person who does not disclose it to anyone whatsoever.
3. Show interest
The best way of getting employee feedback is to have an open and honest relationship with your employees. It can be done by showing genuine interest in how the employees are doing, what bothers them and how to help. Take time and get to understand some of the challenges they encounter in the workplace. It is your responsibility to know what is bothering your employees, what is making them not achieve their goals, how you can help them reach their targets effectively, and what you should do differently as the leader to make things run smoothly in the organisation.
In some organisations, employees are unable to achieve their goals because of security threats in the system. To ensure that no one gets to lose his or her work, invest in a good web application firewall that will protect your company against dangerous attackers.
4. Watch out for the non-verbal cues
When you are talking to your employees, look around the room and get to see all of them. If you see any tight faces or downcast eyes, it shows that your employees are frustrated. It is your responsibility to dig deeper and find out what the problem is and how to solve it. Find the right moments to ask questions to your employees. Tell an employee that you noticed his or her reaction when you talked about a specific project. Your employee will know that you are aware of his frustration and he will be able to enlighten you. Even if you feel like your employees’ frustrations are not valid, take time and listen to them keenly.
5. Do not be defensive
As the manager, one poor response may spoil all your efforts of getting feedback. When an employee tells you that something is going wrong in the project, do not shut him or her down with a harsh response. Let your employees know that they are important to the company and that their contributions are valid. Keep in mind that your employees have trusted you enough to tell you their perspective, therefore, think about it and give them a proper response.
It is tough to work for someone you do not like. Therefore, do not be that person to your employees. Build a good team culture that enables you to get instant feedback from your team members so that you can fix any problems immediately. By doing that, your operations will run smoothly, and everyone will be productive.
Lindsey Patterson works as a director of marketing at a tech firm in Utah.