Employee feedback is a precious and valuable resource that every organization should encash on. You know why? Because it’s an impactful business driver. It also indicates that an employee trusts you enough to share what they are feeling.
And yet, most often than not, employee feedback gets ignored or is simply swept under the rug. In fact, there seems to be a tremendous disconnect between what managers and leaders think, and what employees think. Only three in ten U.S. employees strongly agree that at work their opinions seem to count. Even at many organizations where leaders specify that employee voices are important, employee feedback tends to get the short shrift. Alternatively, leaders might not want to listen to employee feedback because of their past experiences with it.
The reason why it is important that managers and leaders listen to employees is that they have more impact on employees than they realize. Good listening and reception skills play crucial role in leadership. Good leadership in an organization can positively affect factors such as employee job performance, job longevity, and employee morale.
There are many downsides to ignoring what employees are saying. If they are spelling it out explicitly for you, it is your job to listen and take the necessary action. Here are some of the cons of not listening to your employees.
Also read: A Guide To Manage Your Remote Employees
You might think, when you are being amiably present, they don’t notice. But employees do know when they are not being listened to. They take note every time they see feedback being ignored. And once they feel no one is listening, they stop sharing feedback completely. This does not bode well for managers because if employees don’t share feedback, managers will not know what problems the employee is facing, or even if there are broader issues at play. In the long run, it could bring about large, unanticipated issues.
Being ignored can lead to frustration
No one likes to be ignored. You need to put yourself in the employee shoes at times, in order to understand whether they are feeling heard or not. Employees who feel ignored or know their feedback is not being heard will act out their frustrations elsewhere. This could manifest in a variety of ways.
To site an example, they might engage in petty disputes with colleagues, be combative, disconnect from work, or even stop contributing and sharing opinions altogether.
Everybody is not the same, so different employees will express displeasure in different ways, and in the case of some high performers – who previously went above and beyond – will do just enough to ensure they finish their work. Essentially, the ramifications are far-reaching when employees feel ignored. It affects the organizations in more ways than one and even impacts overall organizational productivity.
Trust is lost
When employee feedback is ignored, they lose trust in their managers and often, in the senior leaders as well. One way conversations never last long. We all know that. When they perceive that their opinions have no value or not being heard, they are less inclined to hear the other side as well. This causes a communication gap. And when communication is affected, trust is heavily impacted. And if employees feel they cannot trust leaders in an organization, they will simply move on to other organizations.
Communication is an important aspect of organizational productivity. And it is always a two-way process. It’s important to not just share feedback, but also be open to receiving as well. That’s how you will know whether the employees of the organisation are happy to be a part, or there need to be various changes.
Also read: How to Conduct Quick Check-ins Efficiently
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