Why is it there seems to be such a disconnect between employees and management? Do not believe me? A 2015 Employee Retention Study may change your mind. Over 2,000 employees and HR managers took part in the study. The findings were pretty surprising. Almost half of the HR Manager believe retention and leadership programs were a top priority. Personally, I believe that should be higher. Regardless, this next stat is the one that jumps out at you. Sixty percent of the HR Managers believed their organization was doing a good job at providing a path for advancement. Meanwhile, only thirty-six percent of the employees believed this to be true. Thirty-one percent of the employees said they would be happy to share their goals, background and what drives them if they were asked.
The problem? Poor communication and arrogance. Managers are either not keeping the lines of communication open and keeping their fingers on the pulse of the organization. Or-They are being arrogant and feel like they already know what makes their people tick. I covered the issues with arrogance already. Neither are good. I am a big believer in employee surveys. There are some great websites like Survey Monkey that will help you create surveys and allow employees to respond anonymously. After all, isn’t that what you want? I will never understand organizations that ask for feedback and want your name on the responses. Do you want to get honest feedback or do you want some sugar coated fluff? If you are afraid of the truth, then do not ask the question. I have never feared what my employees have had to say to me and I have learned a lot from it.
In order for honest and genuine dialogue to flow there needs to be trust. Trust can be difficult to establish but it is well worth the endeavor. This is how you can help your organization grow and achieve things never thought possible. You will create an environment of open communication and collaboration. In doing so, you will see growth like you have not seen before. Need further proof? Forbes published an article that proves unequivocally that honesty is the best policy.
How do you establish trust? Here are four steps I suggest-
- Be honest yourself. Walk the walk, if you are going to talk the talk.
- Listen to others with an open mind. Establish some ground rules with your employees. I let them know in advance that I will consider any idea but I will also challenge them to defend it. It does not mean that their idea is not appreciated. I explain that for an idea to be a truly a good one, we must consider the good and the bad.
- Transparency. This is huge. If your organization makes the people feel like they are in a spy organization due to all the secrecy, no one will trust each other.
- Trust should be engrained in your organization. It should be spelled out in your Core Values and you should eat, sleep and breath it.
If you want to get your organization to levels never before seen, you need to put your ego aside and listen to the people that show up every day ready to fight and compete on your behalf. Trust your employees and trust the process.