Staff members handle an energy company’s day-to-day tasks, from regulatory compliance to operating equipment. When supervisors are willing to listen to staff members, they unlock a host of benefits. Clear listening provides ideas on how to make current processes more efficient and safe, helps managers reduce conflicts by identifying them early, and boost morale by demonstrating a real interest in employee feedback and participation.
Here are several ways to truly listen to your staff – and to start reaping the rewards:
- Make feedback collaborative and public… Start by encouraging employees to share feedback on what works well and what needs to change, in a collaborative and public setting. For instance, you may ask employees to contribute to a list posted on a whiteboard in a public space. By making the project public, you encourage feedback to be offered in a respectful, productive tone, while also demonstrating that you’re ready to receive whatever staff are willing to say.
- …but also offer a confidential feedback route. Public feedback allows you to “open the floor” to staff, but a confidential, potentially anonymous method like a comments box or a confidential hotline also give staff the opportunity to say things they may not feel comfortable saying out loud in front of the team. The hotline also helps the company stay alert for potential safety issues or liability problems brewing beneath the surface.
- Ask for feedback at every meeting. Is it worthwhile to add yet another item to the agenda for every meeting? When it comes to listening to your employees, the answer is yes. Once you have everyone in the room, ask them how their work is proceeding, and listen carefully to the answers. Take notes, and ask what you can do specifically to help maintain positive momentum or address any upcoming challenges. Take special notice of items that recur frequently or potential conflicts on which all your team members agree. For instance, if everyone agrees that a new policy makes their work harder and doesn’t make any sense, it’s time to address that policy head-on.
The staffing partners at FootBridge Energy Services are dedicated to helping our clients recruit, retain, and manage better employees for greater productivity in a competitive industry. Contact us today to learn more.