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How To Promote Honest Feedback In The Workplace

​How To Promote Honest Feedback In The Workplace

03 December 2018, By Belinda Wiggins

It is commonplace for managers to ask employees for honest feedback in the workplace these days however, receiving constructive feedback may not always be easy - especially when it comes from your employees.

The feedback you receive may surprise you, and in some instances you may not agree with what the employee has to say, but it is important to listen and keep your emotions in check - ensuring that your actions are not sending unintended signals.

In asking them to give you candid feedback, you’re inviting them to communicate openly without fear of reprisal. If you let your emotions prevail, employees will be reluctant to give honest feedback in the future and may disengage.

If employees feel comfortable offering constructive feedback, regular communication with them can give you highly useful insights into your employees’ expectations, things that need to be improved or addressed in the workplace and how your reports perceive you. Remember, feedback allows us, and the organisation to grow.

So how do you get employees to give you more constructive feedback?

  • Get into the habit of scheduling regular one-on-ones with your employees.

Make yourself available and ensure if you make a time to catch up with them, you do. Don’t go putting other things before them as this may make them feel less important – and that their opinion may not really matter;

  • Keep your emotions at bay.

Everyone is prone to becoming emotional or angry when they feel threatened or that they are under attack. This can then trigger fight or flight signs which can leave you feeling tense with an increased heartbeat;

  • Be humble.

This makes you approachable and the more humble you are, the more team members would be motivated to share their suggestions and recommendations with you;

  • Let go of pride.

The ego can blind us with a false sense of indestructability and clouds judgement - which can lead to poor decisions and the breakdown of relationships. Developing leadership skills is a lifetime project, and as a leader you are not expected to know everything! A great leader will recognise that they need to keep learning.

  • Treat everyone with respect. 

From the cleaner to the CEO - Great business tips may come from the most unlikely sources;

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Titans such as Blackberry, Kodak and Nokia have paid the price for having leaders who refused to listen. Their leaders operated in a bubble and engaged in group think. The greater your success, the more you need to stay in touch with fresh opinions and perspectives – welcoming honest feedback. Raw truth will help leaders make well informed decisions and steer the organisation in the right direction.

As a leader, your job is to encourage others around you to be open and honest without a negative consequence.

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