How Employee Feedback Can Make You A Better Leader
By Robert Stitt
Nobody likes to hear things are wrong with them, but not being able to look honestly at your flaws is the sign of a weak leader. A strong leader wants to know their weaknesses so it can be fixed. If there is a chink in the armor, best to have it spotted by someone on your own team. This is the power of employee feedback through a leadership performance survey. Hopefully, all of your feedback won’t be negative.
Peter Daisyme is the former owner of the tech company “Hostt” and is now a special adviser for the invoicing company “Invoicing.” Daisyme says that he asks his staff, officially, how he is doing on a regular basis. He doesn’t always hear what he wants to, but it has allowed him to sharpen his skills and improve his leadership due to his team’s astute insights. Daisyme shared a number of his takeaways from giving leadership performance surveys with Black Enterprise. A few of the most important are summarized below.
Listening. When you ask your staff to evaluate you, you learn that they are not just talking to you, they are talking about you. They are giving their perceptions about what you are doing to help or hinder them. Truly listening to their impressions and trying to understand their perspectives helps you to learn their communication style.
Perspective. Seeing the company, the leadership, and your performance through somebody else’s eyes gives you perspective. It allows you to realize and remember that you don’t know everything. It also gives you an idea of how you are really doing. Best to hear it from your employees instead of reading about it from your now former customers.
Targets. Once you learn what people like and don’t like about your style, personality, ability, etc., it gives you a solid target for which to strive towards. You now know, if you’re inclined to listen and hear, what it is that you need to work on. Sometimes, the very things you thought you were best at are the things the employees think you are worst at. Perhaps because you thought you were good at a particular skill you didn’t put as much effort into it. Whatever the case, if there is a pattern, then it becomes a concern.
Sending out the first survey may be scary, but the long-term rewards are more than worth it.