Gaining the Truth From Your Employees

Sep 13, 2021 | Employees, Leadership

As Jack Nicholson barked at Tom Cruise in the movie A Few Good Men, “You can’t handle the truth!!”

Or can you?

My Summer Growth Summit

During my Summer Growth Summit in August, I asked for feedback from attendees. And I got it. (Gulp.)

(BTW, this Summit was my largest yet, and some mind-blowing content was shared. I will share a best-in-class idea below.)

When I left the event, I was on a high because it was so darn good. And then I focused on getting back to my house in NOLA so I could assess damage, find my dogs, and evacuate again.

I finally read the event surveys about 5 days later. And I got just what I asked for: Unvarnished feedback on what worked well and what could be done differently.

There was a theme of 4-5 changes I could make.

The feedback caught me off guard and at first I felt a bit down. But later I became excited because the feedback was insightful and a couple ideas were ingenious.

Next year’s Summer Growth Summit will be better yet!

What if you could get all your employees to be brutally honest with you?

Here are a few methods for doing so.

As I write this newsletter, I am leaving the Chicago Botanical Garden (photos below) where I held a high-impact peer group for landscape business owners.

My peer groups are run differently from the copycats (warning, secret sauce here). We have a segment where we interview the employees of the host company and come away with eye-opening insight.

The Host must “want to hear the truth” …

And when he or she embraces it, their company grows by leaps and bounds!

After the interview process was over, we explored different methods that each company could use to get unvarnished feedback from their own employees.

Caveat: You have to be willing to hear the bad along with the good feedback.

Your Challenge – Get Your Employees Tell You the Truth

Worry less about recruiting the next employee, and worry more about learning the gossip going on between your current employees, and the good ideas floating around in their heads.

Do you want to be better than your competition, or simply better for better’s sake?

The answers are all around you!

Can you handle the truth?

Let your employees tell you the truth. Worry less about recruiting the next employee and worry more about your current employees and their ideas. Click To Tweet
A Best Practice from Summit:

Speaker Todd Pugh (owner of Enviroscapes) shared how he became fully staffed during this tight labor market.

He got there by asking his employees to rate how likely they were to refer a close friend to work for him, and then he radically changing his culture based on what he discovered was wrong (gulp) at the company.

He created such a strong employee driven culture that his staff started referring friends. He calls it “plugging the hole in the bucket.” He worked with his best employees and got clear on their team values. He started training his team members daily to make decisions and be accountable to the values. (To learn more go to my podcast with Todd.)

At my Leader’s Edge peer group meeting in Chicago, we took this a step further: We discussed how to “weaponize” one’s values by creating a leadership course in one’s company using one’s values as the content. I will write about this more in a future blog.

Ask for the truth, plug the holes, and finish the year strong!

Todd Pugh and Jeffrey Scott discussing how to plug the holes in your bucket.