Magazine article Management Today

Feedback on Tap. (Building to Last)

Magazine article Management Today

Feedback on Tap. (Building to Last)

Article excerpt

DILEMMA: 'Why wont the employees in my company tell me what they think? Despite the comparative openness of the firm's culture, getting honest feedback from staff is still a nightmare. What can I do?'

ISSUES: Consider what your real problem might be. Is it really that you aren't getting the feedback you want or are communications in the business generally poor? If they are, then you have a bigger problem to solve.

What sort of feedback are you looking for - basic operating stuff or people's dreams and nightmares? Most of us want to ensure we know what's going on and what staff are worrying about.

Unless you are lousy at hiring people, the problem usually derives from the atmosphere you create and your leadership style. Movie mogul Sam Goldwyn apparently once said: 'I want you all to tell me what you think, even if it costs you your jobs!' You're unlikely to keep good people through fear, even in a recessionary environment. And if you do. they'll be off once your market picks up.

Ask yourself some basic questions. Are staff frightened of you? Do they trust you? Do you appear not to listen? Are you too defensive when challenged? Do you listen but never do anything with what you hear? …

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