listen to employeeslisten to employees


Amanda Plumb

4 minutes

Listen Up: How to Hear Your Employees Better

At LOCAL, we know there’s no such thing as a captive audience. We believe that internal audiences deserve to be won over just like your customers. And to do that, we have to start with listening.

Listening to employees does a few things. First, it keeps employees engaged, which is good for retention, which—in turn—is good for business. Second, it surfaces concerns and perspectives leadership might not realize. Getting a frontline perspective can lead to new insights that can ultimately improve the business.

But what does listening to employees look like in practice? We’ve gathered four practices you can implement to hear from your people. 

Pulse Survey

A short survey, sent out to employees regularly (monthly, quarterly) helps you get a sense of your organization’s pulse. While some questions may change from survey to survey, keep a few baseline questions consistent so you can evaluate changes and trends over time. 


  • Keep it short (5-15 questions). 
  • Share enlightening findings with your organization, outlining actions the company will take to address gaps. 

Listening Tour

Designate a period of time (a week or a month), in which a key leader hosts listening sessions with employees across the company. This allows for you to ask employees questions, hear their concerns, and identify barriers. 


  • The leader should come prepared with questions. 
  • Listening sessions can be virtual or in person, with the participants’ director absent from the meetings to encourage candor. 

Standing Check-Ins 

Designate time in your regular meetings to hear from your team. Allocate time in your agenda for asking your employees to share what’s on their mind or opportunities. 


  • To aid in collaboration, ask substantial, cross-functional questions like “what could we be doing differently to improve the customer experience?”
  • Carve out time for the personal with questions like “can you share a highlight and a challenge from your week?”

Suggestion Box

Creating a mechanism for anonymous feedback gives employees the opportunity to speak their mind without fear or repercussions.  


  • An online form can serve as a virtual suggestion box
  • Assign one person or a committee to compile and review suggestions and present them to leadership. 

Regardless of how you go about listening to your employees, there are a few overarching principles to keep in mind: 

Listen: Ask questions. Don’t respond to the answers immediately. 

Repeat: To make sure you understand, repeat back what you heard in your own words, and ask the employees if you heard them correctly. 

Review: Synthesize the feedback you received and decide which pieces of feedback you’ll act on and how.

Act: Listening is not the end game. It’s what you do with what you learn that matters. 

Respond: Close the loop with employees by sharing what you did with their feedback. If you decide not to act on their feedback, let them know why not.