The most effective internal communications strategy
February 12, 2021
As a manager, getting regular feedback from your employees - both on how you're doing as a boss and encouraging ideas on how the team can be more productive - is extremely underrated. Why? A Gallup study of 469 businesses discovered that managers who obtained feedback on their own strengths demonstrated a 8.9% greater profitability.
However, actually receiving their feedback is easier said than done. No matter what an amazing boss you are, many employees feel strongly that giving any type of remotely negative feedback directly to their boss can cause them to lose credibility or status at work.
We know you can take their feedback, and you’ll be better for it! So how can you work with your employees to get their genuine opinion and build better team trust in the meantime?
Open up to your employees
It can be hard to get your people to be vulnerable in group settings, instead try to connect during 1:1s to get their feedback. One great way to improve trust is to be vulnerable yourself. This can be done by outlining your own skillsets - the good and the bad. This demonstrates that your staff shouldn't pretend that everything is ‘perfect’ all the time with you and it can open up the conversation to really understanding what they think can be improved.
You can find some of the most productive, innovative ideas to maximize effectiveness from employees. Unfortunately, many employees worry that they're overstepping their boundaries by offering these suggestions up.
"Employees are naturally nervous about the repercussions of sharing feedback with leadership, especially if it is negative. Use methods that guarantee anonymity.” Loren Margolis
Building trust takes time, so while you continue honing this integral part of your team's dynamic, offer your employees a way to provide their honest feedback anonymously. This shows that you're truly dedicated to getting their input and continues to establish yourself as a leader who is willing to take concrete steps to achieve transparency. Employees will be much more inclined to give their genuine opinion without fear of retribution.
Why do you care?
Employees are a lot more willing to be open and honest with you if they understand why you’re asking for their opinion in the first place. Be transparent and explain why you’re gathering feedback and how they can help. This not only eases any suspicion an employee may have had about being totally honest with you, but it also tells them that you value their opinion enough to ask.
If you’re asking for their feedback on how the team functions or on improving every-day tasks, suggest that they think through some of the solutions you discuss and emphasize your interest in their input. Also, ensure that you follow up with them to solidify your respect and interest for their perspective.
Keep these tips in your back pocket the next time you're improving your team's communication strategy. Not only do your management and leadership skills stand to improve, but in the process of following these steps, you'll establish yourself as an empathetic and thoughtful leader.
When was the last time you felt one of your employee's gave you honest feedback about how things were going on your team? How did you feel it helped?