Do you remember the good old days when you were bossed around by your parents, teachers and even siblings who think they are know-it-alls? As kids growing up, we had all sorts of rules and regulations, right? Do your homework, be at the dinner table when you are told, don’t eat too much of chocolates, do your chores…the list goes on.
Similarly, we have guidelines at our workplaces (advanced versions obviously). Guidelines such as getting to meetings on time, making sure we meet our work deadlines and so on. As your good, mediocre or bad working days go by, I am sure you wonder if you can have a better say in things that happen at the workplace. Are you able to voice out (or even croak) how you really feel about a certain situation? Are you entitled to make decisions that could possibly influence your job or work environment? Or, do you just hold back and keep your opinions to yourself?
As an employee, most of us want to be heard (for obvious reasons). I certainly do. I want my employer to hear me out when I come up with a solution to an existing problem or figure out an improvised technique to finish up a task at hand. I want to be able to tell my manager how I feel about something – good or bad – and not be judged for it.
Sadly, this isn’t a reality for some of us. Because, for some of us, our voices are restrained – and we are forced to keep our mouths shut and simply go with the flow (sigh). If you encourage a culture that enforces this, your employees will take 10 steps behind, never feel comfortable about voicing how they feel, and will leave your company behind. I mean, put yourself in their shoes. Would you like it if you weren’t taken seriously, became the laughing stock or got pulled up for expressing how you felt? No, right?!! My sentiments exactly!
If you are an employer, hear me out when I say this. It is of paramount importance to keep your eyes and ears wide open when it comes to your employees. It’s okay to disagree with their thoughts or opinions. But, you need to listen to what they say. Sometimes those opinions will be ones you don’t like. Sometimes those opinions won’t be very nice. But, you need to hear them out. Because they are the bread and butter of your organization.
The way you recognize and treat them can have a negative (or positive if you are doing things right 😊) impact on how they work or treat your customers (ouch!). So, it’s important to treat them exactly as you want them to treat your best customers (you obviously listen to what they say right?). Doing this will most likely lead to lower levels of employee turnover, which in turn will lead to reduced costs and more profits. (HOW AWESOME IS THAT?). This is exactly why you must get this right. Simply because, your employees can become your best source of information, to keep renewing your constitution.