Some employees may be uncomfortable speaking their minds. There may be numerous reasons for this, but it’s critical for you to create the space for them to do so. Promote and practice respectful candor. When employees don’t feel they have a voice, they may hold back valuable information, ideas, and solutions that could propel your company forward. Don’t be the “Emperor who is not wearing clothes” in your shop.
Notice that the optimal word here is “respectful.” Play nice. Allowing honest communication goes not give people the license to be rude, crude, or mean-spirited.
If asking staff for feedback is new for you, start small. Acknowledge the responses you receive and encourage more detailed replies to your inquiries.
- Focus on the future. Ask what you can do better going forward instead of focusing on what you did poorly in the past.
- Be specific about what you want. Instead of the overly broad, “What do you think?” ask about particular parts of the project that you are discussing.
- Let them vent without interruption. Sometimes people need to let off steam and don’t need you to “fix” anything. As long as venting doesn’t become a habit, be okay with an occasional outburst.
To get this and 97 other ideas on Manufacturing Engagement, please check out Lisa Ryan’s book, “Manufacturing Engagement: 98 Proven Strategies to Attract and Retain Your Industry’s Top Talent“