Morning, everyone. Is there evidence that leadership 'listening' events mature over time - moving from "Why haven't we got a toaster?" questions to something more substantial as a relationship develops? Any insight would be very welcome. Thank you!

Ian Bennett on Jul 22, 2021 • 1 answer
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Hi Ian,

This is a cracking question. Personally, I've not seen any research (which begs the question, should there be?!) but from experience and learnings, I would say we can often get caught in the mundane-type listening approaches if clarity of objectives isn't set from the offset. What I've seen work really well is where feedback is sought which directly aligns with specific desired outcomes, or, against things such as values, strategy pillars etc. Broad, open questions almost always result in broad, random responses but if you keep it clearly aligned to what you want to achieve, the problem you're trying to solve and be specific about the input you need you *should* get a better quality of response.

The other thing to consider might be to map out what your wider employee listening strategy is - from recruitment to exit interviews. Is this a journey you can map out and share with people about what feedback/ input you want from people as they go through their careers with you?

Finally, I wonder also whether how we playback the feedback has any bearing on the maturity of employee leadership. So, if we respond to these types of questions in a senior forum, does that encourage more? Or can we use our channel mix to clearly identify what type of question goes where. So, at a leadership event e.g. townhall, questions there are developed/ encouraged around strategy/ change/ values etc., whereas operational should be encouraged to be posted on a ops intranet page., for example. Food for thought. I suspect the answer to your question is likely to sit across all three of these points. Would be great to hear from anyone else.

Lisa Pantelli on Jul 22, 2021
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