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How to improve your active listening in the workplace


Listening to your workers and getting involved with the company is one of the best policies any organization can develop. Offering them the possibility to think, create and apply the ideas proposed by them will increase their sense of belonging.

There are several ways to encourage employees to give their opinion and suggest changes in the company:
- A suggestion box
- A satisfaction survey
- A focus group
- A contest of ideas

The suggestion box and the satisfaction survey are used in many companies in order to gage how satisfied / unsatisfied employees are but they give few clues regarding what to do and how to improve. They have the advantage of being anonymous, therefore the workers will be as honest as possible. Though it can also lead to externalization of all their discontentment, which will diminish the possibilities of outline strategies for change and improvement.

The focus group technique allows a companies to follow up on matters that interest employees, allowing them to participate, and thus improve that situation.

In addition it is also important to know the 10 keys ways to promote a good competition of ideas in a company:

1. Ensure that there is a good communication policy for the competition

2. Allow the maximum contribution of participants

3. Make participation voluntary

4. Explain the importance their contribution has to the company

5. Provide adequate time and support so that employees can present good proposals

6. Set times for the different phases of the contest until revealing the winners

7. Give feedback to all participants

8. Ensure that ideas are put into practice on a specific date and time.

9. Allow employees to participate in the implementation of their suggestions

10. Reward participation, whether in monetary form or not.

We live in a constantly changing business environment where, the majority of the time, the only thing that is constant is change itself. In order to have motivated workers, a company should give them a voice and allow them to be part of its progress. Making the most of the company’s human capital involves listening to the workers and recognizing their merits.

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