Leadership & employee suggestions
How supervisors react to suggestions can determine whether an employee will speak up again in the future.
- If the boss responds properly, workers will offer more suggestions in the future even though their suggestions may have been rejected.
- Is is important that leaders provide sensitive explanations about why workers' suggestions cannot be embraced.
“It would be useful for organizations to offer training and development for leaders on how to let employees down gently while encouraging them to speak up in the future,” said Danielle King, an assistant professor of psychology at Rice, “As demonstrated in our study, explanation sensitivity led to employees opening up again. In addition, it may be valuable to help employees understand that extenuating circumstances sometimes prevent implementation of potentially good ideas. It also would be useful to provide justification for why complete explanations cannot be revealed for strategic or confidentiality reasons. If such explanations are delivered in a sensitive manner, this should maintain the type of leader-employer relationship that encourages employees to speak up in the future.”