Forum: Bosses need to provide safe environment for employee feedback

Employees may not be giving feedback to their leaders due to the lack of psychological safety (Give bosses feedback instead of complaining online, Aug 24).

According to Professor Amy Edmondson of the Harvard Business School, "psychological safety is a belief that one will not be punished or humiliated for speaking up with questions or concerns".

Leaders have to provide the psychological safety for their employees to speak up, by valuing their feedback and following up on it later.

The body language and non-verbal cues of a leader can indicate whether it is safe for the employees to give feedback.

The leader has to create a supportive environment for the employee to share candidly.

Instead of being judgmental and finding fault, the leader can encourage employees to speak up by saying something like "I'm curious to listen to your feedback".

Employees who give feedback to their leaders often have good intentions, such as improving the organisation. Hence, the leader has to build trust by ensuring that the feedback will be considered and acted on.

Employees will be motivated to work, continue to give feedback and offer solutions to leaders rather than complaining. This will improve the working relationship with their leaders and lead to better productivity.

As a former human resources leader and an organisation development consultant now, I have seen employees lose their trust and confidence in their leaders and organisations when there was no follow-up and no improvement after they gave feedback.

Employees may then vent their frustrations to their peers, and share their complaints on social media or job search platforms.

This may affect the organisation's reputation and branding among job seekers and customers.

Jasmine Liew Chia Wei

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