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How to listen and measure success with your employees

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One of the most important lessons for a manager to learn is that their employees need to feel heard, respected and valued to be productive and loyal. To promote an environment of mutual respect and camaraderie, a manager needs to adopt the skill of listening. To many, listening may seem like an easy skill to learn and execute, but for those who are used to talking and being heard, it can be difficult to adopt.

Here are a few ways to give your employees a voice:

Schedule 1:1 conversations

In order to feel heard, employees need a time to talk with their manager, address concerns, share their thoughts and give feedback. As a manager, use eye contact and active listening so that your employees know that you hear them. People don’t only communicate with words, so it’s also important to pay attention to non-verbal cues. Use story-telling in your conversations as a means of connection and empathy. Share with your employees so they know that you understand and are just a regular human too, instead of simply being the person in charge.

Show genuine interest

Ask your employees how their family is, making sure to mention their spouse and children by name. Learn what their passions are outside of the office. Talk to them about their hopes and dreams. Give them advice on how to make them happen. Be a source of encouragement and motivation for your employees. Follow up with them about the things that they have shared with you. When you show your employees that you really do care, they will open up, feel heard and will work hard for your company.

Ask for feedback with surveys

Surveys can be on a specific topic or just be about the business in general. They can ask open-ended questions, giving space for commentary and ideas. Pay attention to great ideas and implement those that you can. Don’t just collect answers and do nothing with them or your employees won’t respond and feel their time has been wasted.

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