All organizations need feedback in order to thrive. But the truth is, as one’s position rises, the quality of feedbacks just diminishes. This happens because no one dares to anger the boss. It’s really unfortunate that employees simply become agreeable, even with issues and strategies that they find infuriating.
According to James Deter, an associate professor at the Cornell Johnson Graduate School of Management, employees are reserved when it comes to sharing their opinions with their boss. The boss holds power that can affect the employees’ future. The fear of speaking their minds undoubtedly affects how and if they give feedback.
Certainly, there are a few souls out there willing to speak out, but the majority of employees resort to amiable encounters with their boss. Creating a corporate culture that allows free exchange of opinion will prove beneficial to the business organization. Business communication is undoubtedly a pivotal part of a company’s growth.
Sad to say, a congeniality award does not translate to improved policies, strategies, work conditions, productivity, and customer satisfaction. It’s necessary to speak the truth in order to point the company’s decision-makers in the right direction. The challenge is how to do it without defacing one’s employment status.
1. Be honest but tactful
Believe it or not, employee opinions are important. So be honest about what you think. But think about what and how you will say it before you blurt out offensive or even vulgar rants. For your feedback to be valued, observe tact and diplomacy. This is especially appropriate for issues that you feel strongly about. Proper communication of deep-seated feelings about issues is essential.
2. Give details
The reason why feedback is requested is to collect vital information from the employees. As such, make sure you provide meaningful details. Although some issues can get you raving, try not to indulge this emotional outburst. Instead, provide clear and relevant data that can spark change in the organization.
Moreover, general and vague feedback will get the company nowhere. Playing safe might not raise some brows, but the business organization requires honest feedback to grow.
3. Give it when asked
Unsolicited advice is not really a sound strategy at work. When the boss wants feedback he will ask for it. If your opinion is needed, the boss will ask for it. When your feedback and opinions are needed don’t waste the opportunity. It is easy to just shut up or give an agreeable statement.
4. Course it through the proper channels
There are instances when no one wants to hear your opinion (or at least the boss is not asking). But like many others, there are times when there’s a nagging need to speak your mind. Obviously, you don’t walk up to the boss’ office and start blowing off steam. Instead, offer it through the proper channels. This means going to your supervisor or perhaps talking to the right department—e.g. Human Resources for personnel concerns. There is a hierarchy to consider and more importantly, there is proper decorum to keep in mind. Suffice it to say, respect and follow communication protocols.
5. Give suggestions not just a yes or no
It’s just irritating to get a simple nod or a half-hearted head shake when opinions matter. Feedback becomes useful if it provides meaningful and relevant information. Since this is your chance to share what you think, go ahead and speak up. Feedback comes in many levels from a simple yes or no to elaborative response. Regardless of feedback level, know that you have the chance to influence change with your response. So don’t waste this opportunity!
When corporate culture allows a respectful and productive exchange of opinions, companies can experience growth. Moreover, employees must learn how to share their feedback in a constructive way. When information flows freely in a business organization, communication becomes a success tool for everyone.
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