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How do you find the time to listen to your employees?

Posted in Middle Manager on February 14, 2012
There are (1) comments permalink


Frank is the production manager at a clothing manufacturer.  Business has been stable overall with some peaks and valleys forcing him to spend much of his time managing personnel changes during those lulls and peaks.  He is often pulled into customer quality meetings and spends a lot of time fixing problems.  He does not spend much time with any of his employees one-on-one but makes it clear each week what their output goals are.  Frank’s employees are not happy with him.  They feel that he is overwhelmed, and that they have ideas to make improvements but no voice in making them a reality.  Recently one of his best employees put in his resignation.  During his exit interview with human resources, the employee expressed this concern the employees have with Frank.  The Human resource Manager recently shared this information with Frank.

  • What should Frank do first?  
  • What efforts should he make to improve communication?  
  • What are some advantages Frank and the company can realize if Frank makes a real improvement in his communication with employees?

Comments (1)

Tristan posted on: April 19, 2012

I have to say that I feel bad for Frank. It is so hard to focus on the right things when you get pulled in every direction. On the other hand, if he spent more time relating to his employees he would probably be able to fix the problems that keep taking up his time! The first thing Frank should do is have a group meeting with his employees. Tell them that he understands that things have not been great, but he wants them to get better and needs their help. Maybe have some open dialog in the meeting about what is not working and then put people into groups to come up with creative ways to solve them. Each team can present their ideas and Frank can start to implement change. The important thing is that he gets them to participate and that he listens to their concerns and ideas. If he does he should be able to fix problems, run more efficiently and keep good employees. Follow-up is key.

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Do your employees feel like you listen to them?