One of the hardest things to do as a manager is get your staff to open up to you and talk to you about how they are feeling. Employees are the most important addition to a company, as it’s their skills and their expertise that will earn your company business. Like in everyday life, people appreciate the honest, open approach, and if you are the direct manager of a team of people, you probably do, too.
The problem is that most of the time, employees do not like to speak up at the workplace. There’s an unspoken rule about keeping quiet when things are causing offence or annoyance, and usually this rule comes from a fear of reprisal. If this is the case where you are, then you really need to look very closely at the culture in the office. You want people to feel like they can speak up comfortably in the office that you run. You want people to speak up during team meetings and give their opinions and input without fear. So, how can you get your employees to open up a little?
- Give back to them on a level they can appreciate. Your employees come to work every day and spend the bulk of their week working hard so that your company gets off the ground. Offering bespoke training from companies like ej4.com ensures that the people working for you are well versed in how things should be done for your company. Adding to their training and experience doesn’t just serve you well, it ensures that they have a thorough grounding in everything that they need to know.
- Ask. It’s a simple concept, but asking your employees what they think and asking their opinions on new initiatives is the only way you’re going to get that feedback you crave. You can’t expect people to open up if you’re not willing to hear their thoughts and ideas, so when you ask for feedback, be prepared for criticism, as well.
- Be clear about what you ask from people. Business jargon is one of the biggest pet peeves for people in every office, and if you’re asking confusing questions, you can expect people not to be able to respond properly. Before you ask for opinions, ask yourself WHY you want their input and make it clear what you expect. This invites conversation rather than demands answers, and it will help you put your people at ease.
- Stop talking so much AT your staff and learn to talk TO them. It’s already hard enough to bridge the gap between mentor and delegator, so rather than boss your people around, give them an open forum for discussion. Everyone has their basic tasks and expectations, but you can expand on that so that people feel they can come to you with a problem.
Getting staff to open up at the office isn’t always easy, but it’s the best way to ensure that you get the best out of the people who work with you!