Many employees – and shockingly, many bosses as well – think that the boss’ word is the final word. Employees generally don’t dare disagreeing or even putting a forth a suggestion when they think something can be done better. This can actually hamper your growth. Your employees are experts in one field or the other and you have to face the fact that they are better than you in some professional aspects.
No business will do well with dummy employees who play puppets and just nod along with their bosses. You need employees who can open up and tell you what they think about something or some decision that you plan on making. You employ not just because you want them to work for you but also because you want them to put in their thoughts to make things better.
As the boss, it is up to you to remove that fear of opening up from the minds of the employees and encouraging them to give their inputs. Here are a few ways for you to do so:
You hired your employees because they are experts and they are knowledgeable. You expect them to speak up but they don’t know that you do. Many employees are scared to express themselves because they think you won’t like it and will count it against them. To eliminate that fear, you should be encouraging. You should let them know their importance in the workplace.
The best way to encourage them is to be very polite when you don’t agree with the feedback. Keep it professional as opposed to rude. If someone opens up and you don’t agree, say it properly so that everyone knows you are not put off by feedback. Next time around, the others will also be encouraged to speak up.
Don’t Agree to Everything with Ease
Say you put forward an opinion about something and you see all your employees nodding absent-mindedly. Don’t end it there. Think about something yourself and put another opinion forward. Force them to make a choice. Make them talk to you and put forward their opinions.
Remember that they are scared to say anything. You should make them do it, thus. If you don’t do that, they will surely not say anything in front of you but behind your back, they will speak a lot of nonsense. That will just contaminate your workplace.
If nothing works, shoot questions in their direction. Again, be careful not to seem too aggressive and intimidating. Be casual but professional at the same time. Ask them what they think about your choice or your opinion. Ask them if they see any other way. If someone is particularly worried, you could even take time out to ask that person in person so that he knows he is important and his views matter.
As the boss, it is up to you to help your employees and coax responses out of them. Don’t be the strict unapproachable boss. Be the professional but approachable boss.
You need your employees’ opinions and thoughts when you make decisions. You are not an expert at everything and thinking that you are will lead to your downfall. Your employees are highly experienced and knowledgeable. Encourage them to share their views. Be approachable so that you have a difference of opinion. Who knows, your employees may have better ideas than you do!