We all want to be heard, if we stand up and put ourselves and our ideas forward then we want to be both heard and listened to. Unfortunately, in the workplace, this is not always the case! Often Managers have the casting decision, and while this is part and parcel of their position and responsibility, it’s teams that make a business work, not one individual. ‘97% of employees and executives believe lack of alignment within a team impacts the outcome of a task or project.'(Mckinsey) and Forbes found that ‘Employees who feel their voice is heard are 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to perform their best work’. There are real benefits to collaborating on ideas and decisions, so we’re asking why – why is it that some managers still do not listen to their employees?
Don’t get us wrong, many managers set wonderful examples when it comes to listening to their staff and peers, but many still, unfortunately, do not and can be quite blinkered when it comes to taking on board what their employees are actually saying!
We believe that discussion and communication can be one effective route to changing perspective and habits, so let us discuss the lack of ability to truly listen to employees; you might recognise some of these as traits of your own, and if so – admitting it is the first step to change! If you recognise these as traits of your manager, then understanding their perspective might help to approach the conversation differently!
Most businesses will profess to boast a form of ‘open door policy’, knowing that there is a heavy onus set upon communication in successful companies. Those who follow this through successfully, however, are not quite so many. While the importance is known, it really comes down to company culture and if an organisation is not truly committed to enforcing this culture of collaboration and communication from top to bottom, then managers won’t necessarily be committed either.
There are huge benefits to be reaped from a successfully communicative workplace culture. Collaboration brings innovation and change, innovation is vital to the growth and progression of any organisation so should be fostered and converted. It’s also no secret that workers who feel valued are happier in their positions and therefore are more motivated, bringing a better game as a result. These employees are more likely to be committed to their work and to the company as a whole, those who feel listened to and, ultimately, valued are more likely to stay with the company and continue to give their best.
‘Companies and organizations that communicate effectively are 4.5x more likely to retain the best employees.’
Time may be a factor, it may be that taking the time to listen to employees ideas equally and consider points of view is more time consuming, although this isn’t a great excuse, it may be a reason that a lot of employee suggestions, concerns and input goes over the head of management.
Differing goals, objectives or missions may mean that priorities are not aligned, making it harder to communicate. Ensuring the team is united and, more broadly, other teams or departments are united with each other and understand both theirs and others’ part of the whole operation can give more perspective as to where a colleague is approaching an issue from. With more information and more than one perspective, its more likely that management may listen to more ideas, suggestions and concerns.
Designated time for management to discuss with staff is a great way to ensure that both parties are there to listen and communicate about whatever needs to be discussed – their time to communicate without distraction.
We work with businesses to enhance, upskill and grow and manage their teams, if you think that this is something we can help you with, please visit our services page here, or tap the contact button to get in touch.