Posted by Sandy Yu on 6.21.2018
Creating the ultimate employee experience can only be done when leaders truly understand their employees’ needs and expectations. In a workforce where there are so many communication channels, it’s challenging to make sense of all the information.
To do this, company leaders need the full picture from employees. They need to go beyond their doors and immediate lines of communication to find out what employees need for the ultimate employee experience.
Here are four tips from experts on how you can understand your workforce:
Offer employees the chance to be heard and listened to. How do you do that? Say good morning to as many people in your department as possible. I don’t just mean the people who report to you, but those who report to them, as well.
If you could do that at least once a week for everyone in your line of management, you will foster an approachable atmosphere. You can’t possibly have an ‘open door policy’ if employees feel awkward walking through your door because they’ve never had a full conversation with you before.
Open and honest communication stems from trust and security. By showing an active interest in people, even in this seemingly methodical way, employees are more apt to open up about the hard subjects.
In order to get candid feedback from employees, it is important to actually show an interest in their work. If employees feel you are standoffish or uninterested, they will tend to hide their true feelings.
It can also be helpful to pay closer attention to non-verbal cues from your employees. Often times, body language can speak louder than any verbal interaction. In addition, simply asking for feedback can be effective, as well.
If you do receive any negative feedback, how you respond to it is important. Try not to get defensive because that can cause employees to not be as candid the next time. Take the negative feedback as constructive criticism and try to improve.
A good communication strategy helps employees feel more engaged at the company and gives them a sense of ownership, not just for their areas of responsibility, but also for the overall success of the company. That’s important for both employee job satisfaction, as well as productivity.
We recently implemented a process to get feedback from employees to better understand how they think we’re doing as a company vis-a-vis our core values. We sent out a 10-question survey, and employees submitted anonymous responses.
In addition to the results from the survey, we conducted several random one-on-one interviews to get employee feedback, identify specific areas of weakness, and learn where we can improve. Based on this feedback, we are implementing changes to address employee concerns. We’ll send out another survey in a month to see if results have changed.
The communication strategy of an organization helps determine how invested and engaged employees are. Companies who fail to regularly communicate the goals or values of the organization often prevent employees from becoming invested contributors.
Further, failure to communicate organizational changes continues to ostracize employees. A strong internal communication strategy will help increase employee retention.
How do you ensure communication remains open and honest between leaders and employees? Leadership should be provided evidence to support the idea that transparent and open communication between leaders and employees provides a strong employee experience and leads to increase retention.
Organizations should provide safe avenues in which employees and leaders can communicate and share ideas – even if it’s done confidentially or anonymously. Employees should be rewarded for open and honest dialogue that helps the company improve.