14 Nov Being a Good Listener Makes you an Effective Leader and Helps Retain Employees
There is a disconnect between leadership and team members in many organizations that can be a major turn off for current and prospective employees. This disconnect damages trust, employee engagement, and collaboration, which in turn can contribute to a decline in productivity, and increased employee turnover. The source of this disconnect is sourced back to the inability to listen to employees.
When you ask employees what they really want and their response is, they want their voices heard, what they really mean is that they want leaders to not only hear them but to actively listen to them.
Being a leader is tough, it’s one of the hardest roles to be in and it can be difficult to guess what all your employees are really thinking about, the challenges they are facing, and what it is you need to do to help them give their best performance.
While there is an endless list of reasons as to why you should listen to your employees there is only one reason that truly matters. With employees being the key component of running your operations listening to them reminds them that their lives matter. Taking the time to listen and giving your undivided attention to someone can go a long way.
Employees are more than just an asset, they are individuals who live a real life outside of their work. When you bring an employee onboard you generally witness an individual who is fully enthusiastic, engaged, and driven. Your relationship probably starts out with a solid foundation of communication and the employee delivers quality work. Overtime leaders can get comfortable and be blind to what is happening underneath the surface of an employee. In most cases, it isn’t until it is too late that leaders take action.
As leaders, we must balance our intensity and desire to perform with compassionate attention to our employees’ needs. Being mindful of employees stress and tension points before they impact the business can bandage the disconnect between leaders and employees.
Listening is a leadership responsibility that does not appear in the job description. Those who do listen to their employees are in a much better position to lead the increasingly diverse and multigenerational workforce.