How to Create Opportunities for Feedback
Employee input is a crucial, and often overlooked, component of organizational success, particularly during important, organization-wide change initiatives or during any time of transition. In order for employees to feel welcome to provide valuable feedback, an open communication climate should exist in the organization.
Consider these characteristics of an open communication climate the next time you need to solicit valuable input from your employees:
- There is a high level of trust. Trust forms the foundation for open communication, employee retention and employee motivation. Individuals who trust the people they work with are self-assured, open and honest, willing to take risks, less resistant to change, and inclined to act in a trustworthy manner.
- Employees are well-informed through formal channels. While the grapevine can be a credible source for communication, to avoid misunderstanding and miscommunication, it is best to use formal vehicles (meetings, memos, e-mail, etc.) to keep employees informed on what is happening within the organization.
- Creative dissent is welcomed. In organizations where leaders are committed to fostering an open communication climate, dissent is not only welcomed but rewarded. One way to encourage employees to provide feedback is to initiate an employee suggestion program. This allows employees to come up with ideas on how to improve the company, and they are in turn rewarded for their contributions.