This week marks the 75th anniversary of one of the greatest blunders in communication of all time and serves as a warning for managers who refuse to listen to feedback from employees.
On Jan. 27th, 1941, U.S. ambassador to Japan Joseph Grew cabled the U.S. State Department with information obtained from the Peruvian ambassador that Tokyo was planning a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. His warning was ignored and when Japan did attack on Dec. 7th, it resulted in the loss of 2,403 American lives.
Of course, most businesses won't face the same kind of life-or-death consequences if they ignore feedback from their employees.
But those whose culture does not encourage team members to share their ideas and concerns with upper management (or who routinely ignore comments when they are shared), will almost certainly have to deal with the loss of employee engagement, loss of potentially profitable ideas, and the loss of visibility to important concerns from those "in the trenches." On the flip side, those who do value and implement suggestions from employees will see increased an energized workforce with greater levels of loyalty to the organization, safer work environments, and potentially boosted profits.
Here are some tips on how to develop mechanisms for employees to share feedback with upper management:
1. Management meetings don’t have to be exclusively for management
2. A feedback box can go a long way
3. Reward and encourage the sharing of ideas
4. Understand the value of a finding a "neutral ground" for communications
So those are our suggestions, do you have other unique ways to encourage communication between all the members of your organization? Share your thoughts in the Comments section.
If you'd like to discuss issues your company is having with communication betwen managers and team members or resolving any other people-related challenges, contact Clear Path's Anna Aceto-Guerin at firstname.lastname@example.org or (519) 624-0800. We look forward to hearing from you!
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