It's Lonely at the Top: How to Inspire Employees to Give Meaningful Feedback and Collaborate
I was talking with a company owner last week who craves useful feedback from his employees…
...but never receives it.
“I would love it if my team would tell me, ‘That’s a great idea,’ or “That’s NOT a great idea,” he said.
Instead, the boss flies alone, a little unsteady, a little unsure.
This is a guy who exudes confidence. But even those who seem totally in command have doubts.
We all benefit from positive reinforcement or constructive conflict that comes from an engaged and empowered team.
But how can we make that happen?
Send a Clear Message to Receive a Clear Message
The boss was stumped, until we dug deeper…
...until we talked about company goals.
“Where is your company going? What are the big goals,” I asked.
He knew. In fact, as he described his vision for the company, he was energized. He was excited.
But when I asked, “Are your employees as clear and excited about this as you are?” he fell silent.
I answered the question, but I think he already had figured it out:
“Your employees don’t give you feedback because they don’t understand what you’re trying to do.”
We agreed that he must clear about the company’s vision and goals.
But that’s not all. He also has to...
Trust his people.
Encourage Meaningful Dialogue
Invite them to evaluate his ideas and plans through the lens of the vision and goals.
Empower them to generate and execute ideas that align with the vision and goals.
Management consultants and business books call this “alignment.” It is also common sense.
If you don’t have alignment and trust, then people won’t say what’s on their minds. They won’t challenge you and one another in a professional and proper way. They complain about the decision after they leave the room.
If you don’t have constructive conflict, employees don’t buy in because they didn’t actually say what was in their minds and hearts. Then you can’t hold them accountable. And if you can’t hold people accountable, you won’t get the results you seek.
The boss and I agreed to meet the next week to plan how to discuss vision and goals with the team, build trust and empowerment, and establish practices to develop and evaluate ideas constructively.
YOU CAN GET THE RESULTS YOU SEEK...
...with an engaged team that is aligned with your vision and works constructively toward your goals.
Schedule a free 30-minute call with Cheryl who will help you figure out opportunities to engage employees more effectively.