Should the C Suite Care What the Employees Think of Them?
Thursday, May 25th 2023
In today's workplace, there is a growing recognition that employees are the lifeblood of any organization. Their performance, engagement, and satisfaction are critical to achieving business objectives and staying competitive. However, it is not just how employees feel about their work that matters; it is also how they feel about their managers and leaders. But should the management team care what the employees think of them?
Benefits of Listening to Employees
One of the most significant benefits of listening to employees is that it can help improve employee engagement. Employee engagement is a measure of how committed, enthusiastic, and dedicated employees are to their work and the organization. When employees feel heard and valued, they are more likely to be engaged, which can lead to increased productivity, innovation, and job satisfaction.
Listening to employees can also improve the employee experience. The employee experience encompasses all the interactions and touchpoints that employees have with the organization, from the recruitment process to retirement. By listening to employees, management can gain insights into how they experience the workplace and identify areas where they can improve the experience, such as benefits, training, and communication.
Another benefit of listening to employees is that it can improve employee retention. Employee retention refers to the ability of an organization to retain its employees over time. When employees feel heard and valued, they are more likely to stay with the organization, reducing turnover and associated costs such as recruitment and training.
Balancing Listening with Bold Decision Making
While there are clear benefits to listening to employees, management also needs to make bold and difficult decisions that may not always be popular. In some cases, these decisions may even conflict with what employees want or believe is best for the organization.
In such situations, it is essential to strike a balance between listening to employees and making bold decisions. Management needs to communicate clearly and transparently about their decisions and the rationale behind them. They should also be open to feedback and suggestions from employees and be willing to adjust their approach if necessary.
One reason it is important for leaders to make bold, difficult, and unpopular decisions is to ensure the long-term success and viability of the organization. Sometimes, these decisions may involve making changes that are uncomfortable or inconvenient for employees, such as restructuring or downsizing. While these decisions may be met with resistance or pushback from employees, they may ultimately be necessary for the organization to remain competitive and sustainable.
Additionally, making unpopular decisions can demonstrate strong leadership and a willingness to take calculated risks. Leaders who are able to make tough decisions in the face of opposition can inspire confidence and trust among employees and stakeholders. It shows that the leader is willing to do what is necessary for the greater good of the organization, rather than simply seeking to please everyone.
Furthermore, making difficult decisions can lead to personal and professional growth for both the leader and the employees. When faced with challenging situations, employees are forced to adapt, learn new skills, and innovate in order to navigate the changes. This can lead to increased job satisfaction, career advancement opportunities, and improved performance.
How to Understanding The Voice of the Employee
To understand what employees think of management, there are several ways that management can solicit feedback and uncover insights. Two major ways include:
Employee Surveys: Employee surveys are a popular and effective way of soliciting feedback from employees. Surveys can cover a range of topics, such as employee engagement, job satisfaction, leadership, and communication. They can be administered anonymously to encourage honesty and frankness. Once the results are compiled, management can use them to identify areas for improvement and take action to address any concerns or issues that are raised. Surveys do come with limitations though in that people are not always truthful when completing them and they only capture a very narrow snapshot in time. Think back over the last few years about how quickly employee opinions on Return to Work changed and you can see the limitations that surveys may have.
AI Based People Analytics Software: AI based People Analytics software is fundamentally changing the way management teams receive feedback on what employees think of them. Solutions like Scanta’s TruPulse can analyze trending topics including large themes like Management and Leadership. In addition to seeing basic Positive vs Negative breakdowns, it can also do sophisticated emotional breakdowns of these subjects and track changes over time so employers get automatic and continuous insights in real time. Imagine being able to track over a 6 month period how the employees feel about management during a time of big organizational change? Wouldn’t it be valuable to see along the way whether the efforts put into place were helping employees buy into the changes and become more enthusiastic about them?
Leadership and Listening
In today's workplace, management teams must care what their employees think of them. Listening to employees can have numerous benefits, such as improving employee engagement, experience, and retention. However, management also needs to balance listening with bold and difficult decision-making that may not always be popular. Important decisions will always fall on the shoulders of management teams to make, but these managers should not be afraid to understand clearly what the employees think. Having a good continuous flow of real time insights from employees will only empower leaders to become more effective by understanding the feelings of the workforce both from the positive and negative perspective.