Leaders can create loyalty if they simply listen to their employees. When employees are loyal and engaged in your company, profits are higher and productivity increases. When people feel unmotivated or undervalued, business suffers.
As leaders, we’re often busy with running and growing our organizations, we forget about employee engagement.
“In many organizations today, employees have come to expect that their perspectives are powerless, their input ineffectual and their thoughts thankless,” says Julie Winkle Giulioni, contributor to SmartBrief on Leadership.
The secret to making sure your employees feel valued is to be the best listener ever. Listening is the foundation for the best relationships. It makes the other person feel valued and opens you up to new ideas.
“For the most part, employees trust that their leaders are hearing the information they share,” says Giulioni. However, what’s missing is a commitment to do something with that information. She says leaders today need to practice ‘listening 2.0’. This involves focusing on using the data they collect. Don’t just solicit and gather more input.
Giulioni Shares Three Critical Steps to Listening 2.0
Apply a strategic lens to what you ask. Really be intentional, and make sure there’s a good likelihood you’ll be able to act on what you hear.
Do something with what you hear. Take appropriate action. Make the employees’ investment in sharing information with you pay off in some way.
Let others know how you use their input. Communicate the value of what’s been shared. This reinforces employee commitment and it also trains employees about the kind of information you find most valuable so they can bring you more. Also, let employees know why you don’t act on certain information. This communicates your bias, makes productive use of what others offer up, and encourages better input in the future.
If you want to become a great leader, stop talking and start listening. Listening to your employees and using their feedback, goes a long way towards making your company a better business.
Do you listen to and use your employees feedback?