Are you hearing me?
How many times have you been in conversation with someone, they are starring at you intently as if taking in every word, but you know they are not listening! Or your last sentence in the conversation is stolen by someone jumping in, not letting you finish and even redirecting the conversation to their story. Sound familiar? We are given two ears and one mouth for a reason! All too often we mentally multitask and semi-listen because we are consumed with our own story or too busy to care about what is being said. This only leaves your audience feeling frustrated, not important or under-valued, and viewing you as somewhat disingenuous or ignorant. Not exactly words that describe great leadership!
On a larger scale, creating an environment of transparency to hear the voice of your employees, requires time and planning to establish forums for people to provide feedback, suggestions, or comment on ‘what works, what doesn’t’. Across the industry, there is a heavy emphasis on creating a culture of caring-to-hear, which has been proven to drive higher engagement and hyper performance. However, the suggestions need to be acted upon, or at least acknowledged, so that people feel heard as a valued member of the organization’s success.
If you ‘Care-to-Hear’ ask yourself:
What are you doing to create communication forums to give your internal customers a voice? Do you conduct annual engagement surveys or hold employee advisory boards?
If open dialogue forums exist, are you really listening and hearing what is being said, or are you just paying lip service?
Once you have captured the voice of your internal customers, what do you do with the feedback? How do you prioritize what is important?
If you want to create a culture of transparency and candor to ensure every voice in your organization is being heard, then you also have to listen intently, find a forum to play back what was heard, and highlight what actions (Stop/Start/Continue or none) will take place as a result of the feedback. Managing the expectations of your employees and balancing the corporate business priorities is not an easy task for any leader, but it is a fair exchange for an engaged/inclusive culture where people are excited to come to a work environment they played a part in creating.
Needing some guidance and direction on how to create a culture of transparency, candor & caring? Contact Diane @ wwwIDME.consulting