The Cost of Ignoring Employee Feedback

by Kylee Stone Mar 8,2019

The People Strategy Leaders Podcast

with Srikant Chellappa, CEO

Employee feedback is a very precious and valuable thing. Because it indicates that an employee trusts you enough to share what they are feeling.

And yet, you would be surprised at the number of times employee feedback gets ignored or 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. Or 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 leadership in an organization can positively affect factors such as employee job performance, job longevity, and employee morale.

There are many perils to ignoring what employees are saying. If they are spelling it out explicitly for you, then it is your job to listen and take the necessary action. Here are some of the major downsides to not listening to your employees.

Employees Know When They Are Not Being Listened To

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. This could lead to major issues coming to a head and everyone being blindsided by them. 

Also read: 10 Best Employee Feedback Tools To Track Performance

Ignored Employees Take Out Their Frustrations Elsewhere

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. For example, they might engage in petty disputes with colleagues, be combative, disconnect from work, or even stop contributing and sharing opinions altogether. Different employees have different ways of expressing displeasure 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. 

Employees Lose Trust

Ignoring employee feedback causes employees to lose trust in their managers and maybe even senior leaders. Because 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 most definitely 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. It’s important to not just share feedback, but also be open to receiving as well.

Engagedly is an employee feedback software that makes the process of sharing feedback so much more easier. To learn more, request a live demo from our experts!

Kylee Stone

Kylee Stone supports the professional services team as a CX intern and psychology SME. She leverages her innate creativity with extensive background in psychology to support client experience and organizational functions. Kylee is completing her master’s degree in Industrial-Organizational psychology at the University of Missouri Science and Technology emphasizing in Applied workplace psychology and Statistical Methods.

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