Gone are the days of top-down business management structures, where employees receive direction from superiors and simply carry out commands. Success in the modern era requires adaptive leadership , data-oriented strategies, and continual feedback from employees to maintain steady growth. Employees, who work “on the ground” interfacing with clients, managing projects, and using company resources to achieve objectives can offer unique insight into ways to increase productivity and maximize efficiency that might otherwise go unnoticed by management who aren’t as closely connected to a company’s “hands-on” work. Here are a few ways that continually seeking feedback from your employees can help your business thrive.

Encourages Initiative

Asking employees what they think encourages initiative and increases a sense of ownership in a company’s work. Study after study has shown that a higher sense of individual importance in any organization, including a business, increases productivity and boosts performance. As Creative Safety Supply points out, employees often have insights that employers don’t have, so why not take advantage of that by requesting feedback? Not only does it promote unity and a sense of teamwork among staff, but, as a business leader responsible for streamlining processes to maximize efficiency, you might gain valuable insight at the same time.

Promotes Retention

High turnover, a frequent loss of employees, can be devastating for a company’s bottom line and toxic for its work culture. As CIO points out, losing a certain number of employees in unavoidable, but the most successful businesses have well-developed strategies for employee retention. Replacing employees is costly. First, the hiring process itself is time-consuming. Looking for qualified new workers takes time, a valuable commodity for any business that could otherwise be better spent. The training of new employees adds further costs. A company’s success, to one degree or another, is dependent on the relationships that employees develop with one another. In many cases, employees may spend more time with each other at work than they spend with their families at home. What happens when these social bonds are broken? Obviously, such losses can have detrimental effects on a company.

Building a Positive Reputation

With information more available than ever before through the internet, reviewing a company’s reputation before accepting a position is common. The damage of losing an employee often due to him or her not feeling “heard” or respected doesn’t end with that person’s departure. Companies who consistently do not treat their employees poorly will gain a reputation, negatively impacting the chances of recruiting top talent later on.

For these reasons, instituting strategies for gaining feedback from employees is an important way to ensure future success. Just make sure you actually listen to the feedback you collect. If you never do anything with what you learn, you will simply discourage your employees.
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