Positive feedback is encouraging. Negative feedback and suggestions can be a little harder to hear.
If you want your business to thrive and keep your customers happy, you must keep your employees happy. Knowing how to make your team love working for you isn’t always easy – especially if you aren’t getting the type of feedback you need.
Here’s how to pull out more, and better feedback from your employees.
Set expectations for your open door policy.
It’s not enough to say you have an open door policy. To make your business a better place to work, you have to take a more active role in soliciting employee feedback.
Invite your employees to share their opinion. Then, invite them again. And again. The more you ask for your employees feedback and opinions, the more likely you are to receive the information you need. Constantly pursue feedback from your team by asking on a regular basis.
It’s not enough to ask for feedback. You need to create an environment where your employees feel empowered to provide honest remarks and suggestions.
When you hear suggestions from your employees, don’t act defensive. Instead, thank your employee for his insight and show appreciation for his willingness to share his opinion. It takes guts. Openly recognize the courage your employee shows when offering feedback and you are more likely to receive it again in the future.
Host a family meal.
Want to make your employees comfortable enough to open up to you? Host a company family meal.
Get your team together for a barbeque, lunch, or other casual meal. While they eat, mingle and listen to your employees while they talk. Make it a casual affair so that your team feels more at ease and open to sharing their ideas with you.
Act on suggestions.
Whether or not you plan to implement a suggestion, you must act on it.
If you plan to make a change, tell your employee that it was his feedback that sparked the change. If you don’t, explain to your employee why not.
Act on all suggestions to show your team that their feedback doesn’t fall on deaf ears. By explaining your thought process, you show that you’ve given each piece of feedback serious thought and consideration. In the future, that’ll make your team more likely to open up and provide the type of feedback you want and need to receive.
Jon Forknell is the Vice President and General Manager of Atlas Business Solutions, Inc., a software marketing company specializing in employee scheduling software, including ScheduleBase employee scheduling software, and other business software solutions. In the past, Jon has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Atlas Business Solutions was named as one of Software Magazine’s Top 500 Software Companies in 2004 through 2007 and again in 2010, 2013 and 2014.