How do you REALLY feel about your colleagues?

Something to say?
Something to say?

It’s been said that we are living in one of the most transparent business environments in history. Yet, people are more disconnected than ever before. Employees have become alienated from one another as they rely completely on technology that takes the humanity out of communications. It’s really no secret that younger generations love their mobile devices. In fact, they love them more than interacting with their co-workers.

According to a new research report from OpenMarket in which 500 Millennials were polled, 75 percent of them said they would rather not call someone on their mobile phone as long as they were able to text. Most of the respondents said it was because texting was more convenient and it fit in with their schedules. Around half of all generations prefer texting to calling now and about 20 percent say they never bother to check their voicemails anymore. Other employees simply don’t want to draw attention to themselves in a post-recession era where people are let go at the drop of a hat.

So, in this day and age where nobody is talking, how can you get your employees to express their views on colleagues and managers in an open and truthful way?

Make them feel safe

One of the biggest reasons employees don’t talk about their co-workers is because they don’t feel safe enough to do so. They may be afraid that by talking negatively about a boss or a colleague that they will be singled out as a troublemaker and be let go. Or they may be shut down for having new ideas in the past and therefore, this negative experience has caused them to not want to share again.

In order to help employees share and participate in peer to peer feedback it is important to make them feel safe. Anonymity is a critical nature of employee engagement feedback software that can facilitate this protective feeling.

Give them an outlet

Modern day employee engagement survey products give employees a voice. Instead of allowing employees to walk around the office griping about everything, encourage them to make use of the employee feedback system. This will give them a chance to have a productive outlet for expressing their ideas and concerns. This is also a good resource because it allows human capital managers to respond in real time too matters that need attention.

Demonstrate respect

When employees are treated with respect, they are more apt to be willing to share their thoughts and ideas with members of management. Sometimes, employees who are on the higher end of the emotional intelligence area get alienated by those who feel threatened. This leaves them feeling shut down and not having any recourse.

Make peer-to-peer respect a core value of your workplace and emphasize this when asking employees to participate in feedback activities. Let employees know that any and all ideas are respected and that there are no stupid suggestions, even if one of their managers or co-workers has told them so.

Take action

If you want to get employees talking about their ideas and providing feedback about their managers and colleagues, then you need to demonstrate to them that the company takes this seriously enough to take action when needed. For example, if an employee makes a suggestion about needing better lighting or that a co-worker is too loud in a particular area, supplying all employees with a better work space that cuts down on noise and improves overhead lighting should happen quickly.

This is a give-and-take between employees and HR. Make sure that your management and co-worker feedback system provides real-time data so that a concerted effort can be made when it will make a difference, not months later.


Find out how you can allow your employees to express their views on colleagues and managers openly and truthfully by contacting Thymometrics; email info@thymometrics.com, call +1 646 760 9323 (US) or +44 (0) 1223 750 251 (Europe) or visit thymometrics.com.

Image courtesy of nenetus at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

About the author

David Godden

An online marketing entrepreneur with over 18 years experience in the high-tech sector, specialising in HR SaaS solutions. Responsible for the marketing success of several US and European-based start-ups and the international launch of ExactTarget, Pardot and eTrigue. https://uk.linkedin.com/in/dgodden

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