STOP punishing Loyal Employees for being Honest
Everything was going well, new job, new teams new learning and all the excitement that goes with it until that first monthly 1-1 meeting with my line manager. It was noted that I was not a team player and need to work in tandem with the rest, being more supportive of their work. Until this time I felt very responsible about myself that I was contributing to more efficient ways of doing the same tasks and this came as a blower. It was evident that open and honest feedback was not appreciated.
Perhaps out of her own experience I was advised by one of my colleagues that the management does not like truthful feedback. Earlier they were at least open to listening, forget acting but now they do not want to listen either, is what I was told. Further I stood the risk of being classified as a negative person with the potential of being put on an action contract. To survive I had to go with the flow of only talking what the management wants to hear. I was disappointed. So if I want to give honest feedback to improve performance/productivity, whom do I reach out to? Who, what type of people can I really trust for sincere feedback?
Line managers who do not listen to employees will always have problem with team building and will never build a collective spirit but instead will destroy it. Effective listening enables them to be a good leader, and effective leadership encompasses good listening. Leaders should realise that driving their company in a traditional command-control fashion does not work anymore.
In economics, no matter what the question, productivity is usually the answer but what you are willing to trade off is the real question. An economy’s productivity is shaped by more than just what happens within companies. But employers still have the opportunity to get more imaginative and use technology the right way. You do not need shiny robots to redesign your work. Asking employees for ideas – can be a good first step. An office cleaning company I am aware of has replaced the individual bins under people’s desks which was advised by an employee of the business with a few central ones per room, making it quicker for the cleaners to empty them. Productivity has to mean working smarter, not harder. Otherwise, we are simply running to a standstill.
The best thing an organisation can do is to create a culture that rewards and reinforces a strong level of self-honesty among leaders, and safety among those from whom they seek honest feedback. Employees should get the opportunity to voice their opinions, which can be a positive force for the organisation. Be serious about that suggestion box if you want to keep your organisation dynamic and futuristic. Boris Groysberg and Michael Slind suggested a model of 4I for organisational conversation: Intimacy, Interactivity, Inclusion and Intentionality. Leaders who power their organisations through listening based practices will dot these 4I’s and reinforce each other. At last sensitivity towards the hopes and dreams of your employees is essential for connecting and motivating them.