It’s a great idea to ask for feedback from your employees. It’s part of letting them know you care, and want to improve.

So you gather up your courage and ask people for feedback, both one-on-one and as a group.

But here’s the hard part: showing them that you’re taking action. Why is that crucial?

Because it tells them about your honesty and integrity.

An employee is taking a risk by telling you something which might be perceived as critical. The worst case, in their mind, is that you’ll blow up, torpedo the relationship, and damage their career.

But when you take action on something, you’re showing that you’re listening, thinking, and appreciating. And you thought it was good feedback!

Of course, you can’t do that with all feedback. Everyone has a different view, and you’ll be bouncing all over the walls. Your leadership goals may suffer, and you’ll be behaving inconsistently.

So the question is: can you do something?

Perhaps one person in the group says that 9:00 meetings are an intrusion, while everyone else thinks that’s a great time. Some choices are straightforward:

  • Change it to a different time (but then others might be inconvenienced)
  • Don’t change it, but thank the person for their input and give them your reasons

That’s OK, but it turns out that there might be other choices:

  • Sit down with the person and talk about WHY it’s inconvenient, and see if there’s something you might do to address that concern.
  • Work with your team on the “meta-problem”, which is that maybe you just have too many darned meetings. Look for alternatives.

When you do these things, you’re showing that you’re listening, appreciating, and using your leadership role to think more broadly.

You probably don’t have time or energy to do this with each piece of feedback you get. No problem. But which pieces of feedback actually matter most to your employees?

Ask them!