Managers want feedback from their employees because it’s vital to the productivity and success of the company. But the problem is that employees are often reluctant to tell managers how they really feel.
Some people are afraid to criticize operations because they are concerned that doing so would affect their position at the company. Here are some ways to get open and honest feedback from your workers.
Keep it anonymous
One way to ensure that the feedback is genuine is to keep it anonymous. There are a number of ways to do this, like providing online surveys, using suggestion boxes, or even having a vendor conduct the feedback process.
Be honest with employees
If you expect your employees to be upfront with you, the supervisor, you have to be forthright with them. It is a two-way street where transparency is required.
Ask for feedback through a survey run by the employees. They create it, administer it and take ownership of the entire process. Management can provide advice on how to ensure confidentiality.
If you want honest feedback from employees, you have to show that you value their input. If their advice and opinions disappear into a black hole, the feedback will dry up. Management needs to take the feedback seriously. Either act on it or explain to employees why you are not following up.
Share decisions with employees and explain why you are taking a certain course.
Use a third party
The company can hire an outside firm to hold discussions with employees at a location away from the company. These discussions would cover topics of interest to employees and to management. Using a third party helps to eliminate bias. Also, skilled moderators know how to make people feel at ease so they can communicate freely. Then, the outside firm would write up a report on the discussions.
Management can ask employees to envision what their ideal situation at work would be like. This allows them to offer feedback in an indirect way that is not confrontational or critical. Employees can portray their vision by speaking, writing, using video, graphics or any other form of communication.
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