Investor, Sales and Marketing Pioneer, Author, Technology Champion, Philanthropist, Leadership Mentor
The captain steers the ship; but not without the crew.
Thankfully, I had realized the importance of taking people along, early on. Every time I did it, I only learned more about people, processes and success. Most board meetings often end up asking the same question but in different ways – How do we achieve incremental growth? Everybody looks at each other and all of them look outside, for help.
We rarely look inwards for help. How wrong can we be?
True growth happens when we understand ourselves better, spot the weak areas and work on them. What better way is there to unearth our improvement areas than through valuable feedback internally, from our own employees?
But we often end up not getting the right feedback. Have you wondered why?
Several reasons, the most important ones: Employees don’t value surveys and more often than not, do not trust us with these surveys. Isn’t that unfortunate? It is.
So, how do we set things right?
First things first, move away from ‘surveying’ to ‘seeking out opinions and suggestions’. Seeking out opinions is a great way to get closer and collaborate with employees. It also gives them a feeling of being respected and valued. And respect matters a lot.
Even when you have to roll out a survey, don’t use the word survey. Surveys are overdone. Even as an HR tool. People are sick of surveys. They hate it, unless there is some hefty material benefit for them in it. Rather than asking to ‘fill this survey’, ask them for ‘your opinions/suggestions to help us make the right decision’.
Second, be genuine and look for value creation and communicate that to employees. Nobody cares about giving a survey/feedback unless they believe it is valued enough.
Thirdly, get an honest feedback. Not easy, but a way to obtain an honest feedback is for you to be honest in the first place. We have to be honest about what we are as a company, our achievements, our failures, our positives and our improvement areas.
Trust me when I say this, this approach will give a feeling of humility to begin with, and will allow employees to realize that we really need their valuable their opinions, their feedback.
Finally, work on the given feedback. If not on everything, at least a few things to begin with. Nothing convinces people to do more and to do better than realizing their voice is being heard and acted upon.
So yeah, now is the good time to seek the opinions and suggestions from employees, and to show that we indeed value them.