Five Things You Can Learn When You Listen to Your Employees

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There’s a lot for employees to learn. They learn a lot when they first start a new job, and they learn a lot from their managers about their performance in the positions they occupy, but it’s not just employees who should be learning and growing on a regular basis—managers, bosses, and entrepreneurs have a lot to learn too, and a lot of learning can be done when you pay attention to your employees.

How to Spend Money

As the owner of your business or the head of your department, it’s up to you to figure out how to spend money. Although you most definitely have ideas about exactly how the money should be spent, you can learn a lot about how effective your spending really is if you talk to your employees.

For example, you may think you’re doing the right thing by allocating funds to the IT department to enable employees to work from home safely, but you might be surprised to learn that IT professionals think companies overspend on remote work.

If you’re wondering how this can be, just ask your IT department! You’re likely to discover that modifying the existing system, although easier, it’s an ineffective use of money. They may much rather overhaul the system, even if it will be more disruptive to your business in the short term.

Listen to your employees when it’s time to spend money. They can provide you with insights that will ensure you get the most bang for your buck.

Fresh New Ideas For Your Business

There is a lot of advice out there on how to come up with new, fresh ideas for your business. For example:

  • Consume inspirational media
  • Spend time brainstorming in new places
  • Spent time brainstorming at different times
  • Study the opposite take on a new idea

It turns out, it’s also effective when you ask more questions and you share what you’re thinking with others. Why not share what you’re thinking with your employees?

Because your employees are in the thick of things all day, every day, they can provide you with insights you may not have realized. They may have had an idea for a while and were too afraid to say anything, but since you’re asking, they’re willing to share. It could just be the idea that takes your business to the next level.

Improve Hiring and Onboarding

Hiring isn’t just about making things easy for the organization doing the hiring. It’s an experience that greatly affects the person being hired as well. Many of the problems recruiters face, like dealing with employees who have multiple offers and testing skills accurately, have the potential to be solved when you ask new employees to provide you with feedback.

You may discover that there are redundancies in the process that are frustrating and might discourage other potential employees from finishing the application. They may also provide you with insights on how to test for skills more accurately after they are in their new position for a while. You could ultimately find better employees in the future if you listen to their feedback.

How to Be a More Effective Leader

A lot of time and energy is poured into making employees better at their jobs, but getting the same kind of feedback for bosses can be difficult. Don’t rely on exit interviews to learn what you want to know about the leadership in your organization. Instead, create a culture of open, honest communication where supervisors regularly ask for feedback and pay attention to non-verbal cues, like downcast eyes and fidgeting thumbs. Avoid becoming defensive when receiving feedback and you can learn a lot about being a more effective leader.

Trust

Surprisingly, your employees can also teach you a lot about trust if you let them. If you relinquish some control and stop micromanaging your team, you can discover that they are fully capable of getting the work done without you looking over their shoulder.

When you trust your employees to get the work done, not only are they more likely to complete the work more effectively, they are also more likely to trust you in return, which can create a better workplace culture for everyone.

Don’t get into the rut of always providing feedback to your employees without receiving feedback in return. Whether you’re talking to employees about how you think funds should be spent or you just can’t seem to come up with any new ideas, there are many things you can learn when you listen to your employees.

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