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Employee Feedback: Listen and Learn

Employers have come to realise that one of the best things they can do for their business is to get feedback from their own people.  While listening to customers’ suggestions and complaints is important, soliciting the input and ideas of employees can be priceless. 

What You Learn from Listening 

Your employees are your “contact people” as they are the ones who directly deal and interact with your customers.  If your employees are dissatisfied with their working conditions, they are unlikely to pass on a good vibe to your customers.  They cannot serve with a smile if they have nothing to smile about.

 

When employees are dissatisfied, moreover, they will not stay long.  Employee turnover rates would be high and this can not be good for your people’s morale – why be friends with your office mates when you or they’d be gone soon, anyway?  With high turnover rates, moreover, you’d be forced to devote a lot of time (and company resources) on hiring and training new employees so you’ll have little or no time to growing your business.  You’d be dealing with the employee learning curve again and again.  Inexperienced employees also means more mistakes.

 

Employees, moreover, are not machines.  When they work, they think and they usually have an opinion about the way things are being handled, the company policies and how the business operates.  Your employees are therefore good sources of ideas for your business’ overall improvement.

 

Imagine, then, what mere listening to employees can do and give you.  If you listen to your employees, you will LEARN a lot of things.  You will learn what your employees think about the way you run the business, what company policies are hindering your company’s growth and what needs improving on your product or service.  If you listen to your employees, you will know what pleases and bothers them so you can introduce programs that will improve your employees’ satisfaction with their jobs.  By so doing, you will retain more of your employees.  This, in turn, means better and more experienced employees dealing with customers (this means greater customer satisfaction), satisfied and happy employees (motivated employees who have the good of the company in mind) and less time/effort/money wasted on training new hires (efficient use of company resources).

 

Overall, if your listen to your employees, your company can improve for the better.

 

Listening to Your Employees 

How do you listen to employees?  There are many ways.

 

Survey:  You can do an employee survey; you can formulate a questionnaire and distribute it to your employees.  To make sure you’re capturing the information that you need, you can ask professional researchers to make the questionnaire for you.

 

Meeting:  You can also set a meeting with your employees and directly ask them what for their feedback.  You must be careful here; you don’t want to offend people by shooting down their ideas just because you personally think such ideas have no merit.  During the meeting, just listen and take down notes.  Then, you can analyse the information you have gleaned on your own.

 

Discussions:  You can meet with each of your employees for a more in-depth and personal discussion.  This will give you the privacy that you need so you can get useful suggestions without being wary of embarrassing your employees.

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