Open Communication and Honest Feedback

Open Communication and Honest Feedback

What do your employees really want? A shiny new ping-pong table in the office? Catered lunches? The option to work remotely?

A recent survey, conducted by 15Five, found that out of 1,000 full-time employees across the US, 81 per cent would rather join a company that values “open communication” than one that offers perks such as top health plans, free food and gym memberships. Yet only 15 per cent of workers surveyed said their current companies were doing a “very good” job in fostering honesty at the office.

Millennials (aged 18-34) are even more likely than older colleagues to choose a company that values honest feedback over one that gives top perks. 84 per cent of Millennials said an open communication policy was more important than perks when choosing a job vs. 77 per cent of boomers (aged 51-69).

The old-fashioned practice of managers only pointing out errors in quarterly or yearly performance reviews does little to motivate any employee, and especially backfires with Millennials. So when it comes to honesty at the office, weekly communication – not just quarterly check-ins – is key.

Older managers who value independence and personal drive may baulk at giving constant feedback to their younger employees, but if they adopt tools and procedures to make regular communication easier – online platforms or weekly email check-ins – then a culture of continual feedback becomes less onerous. Everyone benefits from a company culture where team members are encouraged to be honest, sharing both positive and negative feedback.

Companies that stifle communication suffer from high turnover, unhappy employees, low productivity and lost revenues. Truly open communication gives room for honest discussions about mistakes and how to improve performance.

Honesty is a two-way street, so employees should be invited to be honest, too, bringing up their own frustrations and sharing ideas for how to improve problems. This creates a culture of transparency where both employees and managers feel comfortable speaking up.

Does your company have an open communication and honest feedback policy?

Adapted from an article by David Hassell,

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