As an upper level manager of a growing business, one of the most important things you can do, in order to lead or grow your business properly, is to get feedback from everyone. You want to know how to best serve your workers, keeping them happy and productive and also how to keep your clients coming back to do business with you.
Successful leaders rely on feedback from their talented hires to keep them on track
When you’re the head of a growing company, you’re under a lot of pressure to bring that company to scale, without too many hiccups. What a great many company leaders realize is the resources, or intellectual capital, for expanding your business is the people you employ. Asking for feedback from everyone can be a slippery slope at times, but in order to meet your business goals, according to LinkedIn co-founder and Greylock founder, Reid Hoffman, in his Masters of Scale podcast, “you have to be as skilled at abandoning plans as you are at making them.” Your employees and coworkers can help keep the big picture in focus, even if sometimes you can’t see the relevance of some feedback at the moment. Instead of blowing off feedback when someone disagrees with part of your vision, try getting onboard with initiatives that allow employees to voice their opinions.
In one episode of Entrepreneur’s Masters of Scale series, Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandburg, commented that it’s her failure if her teams are unwilling or afraid to criticize her policies or performance. Learning how to graciously take feedback and effectively process it so that your people know they can trust you to appreciate, or at least consider their input.
Here are some tips for taking a look at how to turn feedback into your most valuable tool in bringing a company to scale.
Let your team know you want feedback
Openly ask for feedback and remind your team that you want feedback. Allot time for your staff to come to you. Make sure everyone understands when they can approach you with feedback about specific projects or policies in addition to general feedback.
A positive feedback loop will let workers know you respect their opinions
All feedback won’t be something you can implement and might not apply to the project or policy at hand and some feedback you’ll simply disagree with. If you do disagree, genuinely express your thanks for the feedback and then explain your position on the issue at hand. This prevents dissenting attitudes and frustration when you proceed with the project or policy in question without incorporating the feedback. This gives you a training moment and your staff member may glean something positive out of the feedback loop by understanding how you arrived at your decision.
Let employees know you appreciate their views
Graciously receiving all feedback is an art. It’s not always convenient to stop what you’re doing and listen to feedback that you may not find relevant, or helpful, in the heat of battle. Some executives set aside a block of time during the workday and share that window with their staff to avoid impromptu feedback interrupting the work flow. Even feedback that arrives at inopportune times, take a breath, invite the employee to share feedback at a more appropriate time and thank them for going out of their way to share their thoughts with you. Easier said than done….
As employees may feel vulnerable giving feedback to a boss, the more gracious you are, the more willing they will be to share feedback in the future. An accepting environment may also inspire employees in creative and productive ways.
Humility, what a teacher
Ok, so everybody makes mistakes, plans change and maybe you find yourself wishing you’d taken a colleague’s advice or feedback. Oops. The best thing you can do in this situation is own up to your oversight or mistake. Telling your employee that they were right, and you were wrong, speaks volumes. Humbling yourself proves that you can be trusted with sensitive information. Give credit where credit is due, acknowledge your team member’s idea was better than the one you proposed. Others will be encouraged to provide honest feedback in a trusting environment.
Employ talent who aren’t afraid to say “no” to you
CEOs and bosses who hire “yes” people are generally more interested in stroking their egos than in effectively bringing their companies to scale. Many successful people admit that they hire more talented and more skilled people than themselves when starting a company. Even with equal or less skill and talent than you have, other people on your team can usually afford to spend more time focusing on and analyzing projects to find better and more innovative solutions to than you can.
Trust fosters feedback
Trust is a powerful thing. In order for your business to grow to scale, owners and managers need to be able to take feedback and trust their team’s abilities to deliver, so they can delegate tasks. Hiring the right team that you trust to give you insightful input, and provide you with valuable feedback, creates a healthy environment for creativity and collaboration.
Perfection is overrated
Because businesses can’t grow in a vacuum, upper-level managers that reject the idea of opening up to feedback can only grow so much. Admitting you’re not perfect and that sometimes you fail opens the door to “failing, the path to success”. Failure is a great teacher and often, the more you fail, the faster you succeed. Trying new approaches and giving your team opportunities to resolve issues is a great learning experience for your team.
As a strong, effective leader, you know the value of trusting your employees to give feedback that resolves issues, solve problems and propels your business forward. The more open you are to accepting feedback, the faster you can bring your company to scale, seamlessly.
Venture X Naples, offers an upscale, professional environment for all phases of your business’s growth. With flexible workspaces, including shared desks, dedicated spaces, and private offices, where you can gather your team for brainstorming sessions or work sessions. Located in the hip and happening Mercato, the heart of Naples, Venture X Naples is close to many dining, shopping, and entertainment venues. Contact us for more information at (239) 300-9601 or schedule a tour online. At Venture X Naples you can grow your company to scale in an inspiring, collaborative environment that’s only a few minutes from the beach. We welcome all feedback at Venture X Naples.