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Are You Listening To Your Employees Enough?

By Matthew Walker Jones

February 27 2018 - Employees want to be heard and, usually, they have ideas and opinions that could prove to be the difference between success and failure. Unfortunately, companies often feel that it is easier to ignore their members of staff, choosing instead follow some pre-determined business plan. When organisations choose not to listen to their employees, however, they also decide to forego a hugely valuable resource.

Identify problems early on

Even when businesses are successful and enjoying a positive workplace culture, problems can arise. When they do, it's vital that employees are able to discuss them to ensure that they are not left to fester. Of course, HR professionals have a role to play in this, but open channels of communication should be found in other areas of the business too. When members of staff are listened to, problems can be identified at the earliest possible opportunity and quickly rectified. Managers should be sure to hold regular meetings and cultivate an open and transparent culture so that staff feel comfortable sharing their thoughts, even negative ones.

Keep staff engaged with their work

It's easy to lose interest in your job, particularly if you're not feeling engaged with your work. One way to prevent this is by simply listening to what your employees have to say. When staff get to air their views, they are more likely to feel invested in an organisation and are more likely to stick around. If you're not sure why listening to your people is vital, you soon will be when your best talent starts leaving for more engaging pastures.

Sometimes, however, it's not easy for employees to have their voices heard, particularly in larger organisations with countless members of staff based in various teams, spread across different cities. If businesses are struggling to turn staff opinion into valuable insights, there are digital solutions that can lend a helping hand. Employee engagement software is an efficient way of collecting ideas and suggestions from across the entire organisation. Not only that, but the results can be quickly collated and analysed so businesses can take action on any issues raised.

Collaboration breeds success

Employees may be an organisation's biggest expense but they are invariably its biggest asset too. And if you aren't listening to your staff, you are letting this valuable resource go to waste. When you listen to your employees, you empower them to think creatively. You provide them with the confidence to approach senior management with new ideas - some of which may make a huge difference to the company going forward.

Listening to each other is also the best way to create the most fruitful collaborations. When working on a project, it is useful if all contributing members of staff feel valued and confident enough to offer their input. If you're not taking their views into account, they'll simply be following instructions rather than bringing their unique skills to the table. If you're not listening to your staff, any potential collaborations you may have planned will be underdeveloped. And if you're not collaborating effectively, there are sure to be a lot of fantastic ideas that your business is missing out on.

About the author

Matthew Walker Jones is a freelance writer specialising in HR and employee engagement

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