Inclusion of employees is not for cowards; Evaluating and improving employee engagement takes courage from leaders and employees at all levels, and it can be a challenge for some organizations.
If you are working to instill a culture of inclusion in your organization, keep in mind that you will need to start fostering a culture of courage from the CEO all the way down to the people on the front lines to ensure it is effective.
Do not ask questions about employee inclusion if you are not prepared for the answers you may receive; It takes a lot of courage to ask employees how they feel about working for your company, but you can’t stop there, and if you’re going to ask employees for feedback, you must also be willing to do the following:
- Receive feedback: When employee engagement efforts are genuine, your employees will answer questions honestly. They may tell you things you may not want to hear, or you’ll be surprised to learn what they’re carrying. So brace yourself.
- Appreciate their feedback: After you’ve asked employees for feedback, thank them for it, show them that their voice was heard, make the interaction respectful, and make it clear that you value their ideas.
- Respect what they provide. Any feedback you receive becomes worthless if you don’t do something about it. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to make all the changes employees want. It means that you have to show how you will benefit from their ideas, or what you will do instead and why.
Doing these three things helps foster respectful and productive conversations between company leaders and employees.
London Business School Professor Lynda Gratton writes about the importance of building mature relationships between workers in the workplace. that is, having meaningful, mutual conversations; Both sides respect ideas and exchange opinions honestly and openly; This is essential.
Often, relationships in the workplace are very similar to the relationship between adults and children; Because leaders do not appreciate and respect what they hear from employees. This leads to the indifference and cynicism that comes from the difference in positions, and that all workers are adults in your organization; So you must have the courage to ask for feedback, receive it and implement it, as adults do.
Courage for employees:
In the process of employee inclusion, employees must be willing to share their true thoughts and feelings about their work and the company. If they do not participate sincerely, it is difficult to make improvements. So employees should ask themselves if they are willing to speak honestly about themselves, or if they give up sharing their thoughts.
Employees may feel that the fear of loss outweighs the potential for any gain that can result from honesty. If your company’s leaders have followed a policy of punishing or dismissing employees’ opinions in the past, or surveys of employees have previously been requested to provide honest opinions and have subsequently been ignored, it may be Employees then feel there is nothing to gain from providing thoughtful and honest answers.
How do you boost courage?
Confidence is gained in small steps. Leaders who want to change the company culture and promote courage among employees should not over-promise something they are not used to previously, and when you make changes based on what employees told you, show them what you did, and always repeat it, and show them that their opinions and ideas are valuable and that the organization is ready to implement them when possible.
Employees, in turn, should continue to ask about efforts at inclusion, about improvements, and what role their feedback plays in any changes. Then, as company leaders continue to show that honest and productive feedback is valued, employees will provide more of it.
As conversations mature, leaders can look for ways to create a platform. Employees can share their ideas and leadership can highlight the changes that have been made. This two-way communication can promote effective and efficient employee engagement, all it takes is a little courage.