Whether you’re responsible for a small team, or a large one, there are some skills that you need to develop in order to make the best use of your resources, and ensure that your team members are giving you their best.
As a manager or team leader, the ability to listen is business critical – having strong listening skills allows you to better understand your team and direct their energies and actions. It also builds stronger relationships, team members who feel respected and engaged with are more likely to produce better work, in fact 74% of employees are more effective at their job when they feel heard, and 71% feel more confident to share ideas and feedback in the future.
How Does Not Listening Affect Business?
There is a definite issue with the current global culture when it comes to handling discussion, with 86% of employees feeling that their organization doesn’t listen fairly or equally to them, and 34% saying that their company doesn’t listen to their ideas for improving business.
This huge figure shows that there is a vast majority of workers who don’t feel that they are being listened to, and aren’t being given the encouragement or motivation they need to do their best, and this can cause a toxic work environment, which you definitely want to avoid.
85% of employees are not engaged at work, and this can have serious consequences when it comes to staff retention and the bottom line, in fact it’s estimated that actively disengaged or unengaged employees globally cost $7.8 trillion in lost productivity alone.
Managing Discussion and Actively Listening to Employees
It can be difficult to find a good balance between open and honest discussion, and having a team that think insubordination isn’t an issue because they can do and say what they want.
You need to have a certain level of control over their team, and need to ensure that your team know what boundaries are set and be called to task if they exceed them.
When it comes to developing your listening skills, you need to evaluate yourself, and not be afraid to get feedback from others – it can be difficult to hear, especially if you think you’re doing a good job, but constructive criticism is exactly that, constructive – it’s a tool to highlight your weaknesses, and work on yourself.