What are the benefits of allowing employees to make their voices heard amongst leadership?
A healthy company is one that allows its employees to make suggestions to leadership and question decisions (in a respectful and appropriate manner) made by management if they feel another path would be in its best interest. Indeed, the healthiest company doesn't just allow that to happen, it encourages it. Having an active and constant discourse between workers and higher-ups will engender a positive work environment and facilitate an atmosphere of forward thinking and productive ideas.
Sue Cockburn of Business 2 Community discusses the value of having "push back" in a work space and how to strike the right balance.
Employees feeling timid around management is rarely, if ever, a good thing. Management will miss things from time to time, and when that happens its often up to the employees to raise concerns. If they are afraid of raising them, whatever caused those concerns will fester unaddressed and hurt the company in the long run.
Most workers, when they start out, don't just want to come to work, go through the motions, and cash their paychecks. Most want to actively help steer a company toward something and be a productive part of something greater than themselves. Motivating employees to engage with company leadership is a big step toward maintaining that positive outlook as long as possible. But don't worry about pushing back against the push back.
"Saying 'no' to push back or suggestions and ideas isn't usually the problem, unless we're always saying 'no,'," says Cockburn. "The problem is usually how the 'no' is given and and whether or not the person saying 'no' to the idea, suggestion or criticism has actually listened to and thought carefully about what has been shared or presented to them." Basically, don't make the option an empty one. If employees feel like they're being taken seriously, rejecting feedback from time to time won't be a problem.
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