5 Reasons to Listen In The Workplace

November 29, 2019

Today is the National Day of Listening. We’d like to therefore discuss the importance of listening in the workplace.

Listening To Employees

You may not want to hear what your employees have to say, but not listening to them is likely to be the downfall of your business. It could be someone remarking on the lack of support from management. The initial response might be “plenty of support is given”, but it is possible that the employee requires a different kind of support or at a different intensity. It may be that they don’t perceive ‘support’ in the same way, and therefore by ‘support’  they actually mean something different entirely. It could be someone mentioning how their office environment is disgusting. Your interpretation of the cleanliness could be different, but if your employee is interpreting this in a different way, it may be worth seeing what can be done about your office cleaning. By ensuring that you really listen to what someone says, enables you to ask further questions and ensure that an employee is happier and more effective. We recommend reading ‘how to listen to your employees‘.

Listening To Never To Be Employees

Your employees may put up with something that someone interviewing (or not even bothering to apply) might see as a red flag. We are in a time when hiring good people is not all about salary, but about the culture of the company, the office space and facilities and their perception of the company. Someone might be put off applying to your company because they have heard or seen something negative. If they do apply, they might turn down a position, or choose a similar job elsewhere due to other benefits above salary. You will rarely hear the real feedback about why you are not recruiting the right people at the right price, so if someone bothers to tell you, you had better be ready to listen.

Listening To Colleagues

Most people spend more time with their colleagues than their family. With an eclectic mix of people, it can be difficult to ensure a positive and effective working relationship at all times. Every one of your colleagues will at some point go through a difficult time, either at home or with something at work. Being ready to listen not only improves the atmosphere in the office, but enables a better communication channel, resulting in happier colleagues and better quality work. Being open to listening also gives your colleagues confidence to speak up when the feel uncomfortable with something you have asked of them or something they are struggling with.

Listening To Customers

Customers might be quick to sing your praises, but they are just as quick to complain. If you manage to listen to a complaint, it will usually give an idea of what was expected. Humans can’t provide a perfect service 100% of the time, however by listening properly and then acting, we can not only put right an issue but have a customer singing your praises for getting it wrong but dealing with it in the best possible way, which was the way they wanted or had never dreamed expect.

Listening To Never To Be Customers

We can’t please everyone, and it is OK not to serve every type of person or business out there. We all have a ‘type’ or ‘niche’ we try to serve. The issue is when the ‘type’ of customer we are aiming at won’t use us or can’t use us. In business, we carry out a certain amount of market research, whether formally or informally, but sometimes we come across a negative comment, or a reason someone hasn’t chosen us, or couldn’t use us. It is easy to say ‘oh well, plenty more fish in the sea’, but what if the issue they have mentioned is affecting many more customers from coming to you. By listening you could realise that your website is difficult to use, your service is too confusing or the terms don’t fit with their business model or personal requirements. If you aren’t selling what they want and need, you aren’t going to sell to them or anyone like them, so why bother. Spend the time and effort acting on the feedback you have been fortunate enough to be able to listen to.

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