Whether you’re trying to create connections within your team or expand the reach of your ERG, you probably use feedback as a tool for building community in the workplace. People are more engaged when they feel like their voice is being heard. And that additional insight is key to making more informed decisions about the things that people really care about. Win-win!
But getting feedback is useless if you’re not really listening to what your team members have to say. Envested founder and CEO Isa Watson wrote in Entrepreneur,
“Many well-intended solutions end up feeling like superficial fixes to a problem that wasn’t fully heard—there’s a sharp line between what you do and what your employees see.”
Even the best intentions can’t replace effective listening. Yet with so many things on a manager’s plate, it can be one of the first things to slip through the cracks.
Incorporating feedback doesn’t have to be hard. Here are some of our favorite tools—from no tech to high tech—that we love to use at Envested to listen better within our team.
We’re all about the individual check-in at Envested. Because as much as you can communicate over Slack or email, there’s nothing quite like real talk in person. Isa noted,
“Regular one-on-ones with your employees are an excellent tool to both diagnose your company’s culture and provide an opportunity to get to know your employees.”
And whether they’re between a manager and a direct report or between two employees on the same team, these micro-meetings are great for establishing lasting lines of meaningful communication, while also getting the feedback you need.
As important as it is to have one-on-one conversations, meeting as a group is equally important to see what ideas resonate across the team. It’s also a great way to brainstorm new ideas—who doesn’t love the creativity of groupthink? But don’t get us wrong, we’re not suggesting you just add another meeting to your calendar. In fact, we do our huddles standing up because they are so short. Every afternoon at Envested, we get together to gut check our work, share small wins and get help where we are blocked. Best of all? It lasts less than fifteen minutes (yes, really) so we’re always able to squeeze it in.
Not sure if your team would be “all in” or “no way” for a monthly game night? With ratings, multiple choice, and open response polls right in Slack, Polly is an easy way to gauge interest in one thing at a time. It’s one of our favorite ways to get a quick pulse and record the responses without any additional work.
Apart from using Envested to plan events and organize groups, we also use our product to listen to our own community. By looking at our team’s behavior across the platform, we’re able to see not only the most popular interests—recently, our team has been getting excited about an employee soccer showdown—but also the variety of interests across our team.
Have another listening tool that you love? Let us know @alwaysenvested!