6 methods for learning what’s on your employees’ minds

Here’s how to cultivate a culture that solicits and addresses employees’ concerns—without making them uncomfortable about pointing out flaws in your organization and its leaders.

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If you manage employees, you want to maintain good relationships—not just for their sake, but for yours, too.

Happy employees will be more productive and more likely to stay with the company. However, your position on the totem pole can make it difficult for staff to approach you with problems. After all, no one wants to seem like a complainer.

Here are six ways you can find out what your staff really wants and improve your company’s morale and productivity in the process:

1. Check in frequently. Annual performance reviews are becoming a thing of the past. You can’t preserve a good relationship with anyone—let alone your employees–by talking just once a year. That’s why many companies realize it makes sense to have supervisors set up ongoing conversations with staff, for example checking in every 90 days rather than waiting until year-end for an official performance review. Some companies find that quarterly isn’t enough. Deloitte switched to a system of frequent, informal check-ins, and Halogen Software meets one on one with team members every four to 12 weeks. It even created software, Halogen 1:1 Exchange, which makes organizing and documenting these conversations simple for businesses of every size.

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