Seeking honest feedback from employees isn’t for for cowards. Honesty in the workplace can be daunting, especially for managers or leaders who haven’t always been open to feedback.

But you’ll find that the results are worth it. Here are five tips to help you get the feedback you’re looking for from your employees.

Be what you want to get

If your company culture has been marked by suspicion or a lack of transparency, that needs to change before you can expect useful feedback. Employees won’t be honest if they were punished for it or if they feel like you aren’t honest with them.

Even if you do feel that you have a culture of transparency at your organization, check to see whether leaders and employees are really on the same page. Leaders may feel they’re being transparent, but information may be delivered in such a way that employees are cynical about its intentions. (read more…)

This post is sponsored by Burris Logistics

Packaged-goods companies should consider re-evaluating their distribution networks at least once a year, according to a webinar on challenges facing grocery logistics professionals.

The webinar, Delivering Results: Supply Chain Management Challenges and Opportunities in Today’s Environment, was sponsored by Burris Logistics.

“Three out of four companies have done network redesign recently, so if you haven’t, you need to have a very compelling reason as to why not,” said Tim Near, senior advisor at the Boston Consulting Group.

Near cited data from the 2015 Logistics Benchmarking Study by BCG and the Grocery Manufacturers Association, which found that transportation challenges, driven in large part by an acute shortage of truck drivers, were the most commonly cited top-of-mind issue for supply chain leaders (83%). Those concerns were closely followed by network redesign, however, as 72% of supply chain leaders cited that as a significant priority at their companies, up from just 6% in 2012. (read more…)

One of the hardest times to find a taxi in busy downtown metropolitan areas, at least in the pre-Uber era, is when it’s raining. Studies conducted in London, New York City and elsewhere have shown that the meaningful uptick in rider demand during inclement weather is not matched by taxi availability. Soggy would-be riders are often forced to stand in the rain for a protracted period before being picked up, assuming that they get a ride at all.

The obvious question is why? Why wouldn’t cabbies be out in droves on days like this, looking to grab as many customers as they can and pad their income? A number of theories have been advanced to answer this question. One is simple supply and demand. A fleet of taxis cannot exist in an on-demand economy. It has to be built to meet the standard demand in order to be fiscally viable. When demand reaches unusually high levels, there is no place to draw available drivers from. (read more…)

SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 210,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.

How rigorous are you about planning your time?

  • Very — I manage my calendar closely: 41%
  • Somewhat — I plan my time when it’s required: 45%
  • Not very — I don’t spend much effort planning my time: 11%
  • Not at all — my schedule dictates how I spend my time: 3%

Your Most Precious Resource. Time is the one thing we can’t get back. Time spent planning your calendar can pay huge dividends. Perhaps one of the largest benefits of doing so is being more efficient and effective with the time you spend with the members of your team. Not all time is created equal. Once you start differentiating how you spend your time based on individual team member behaviors, you should see benefits in terms of improved performance. (read more…)

There is a large contingent of travel enthusiasts (not all of them ex-hippies) who’ve enjoyed a long-standing romance with the iconic VW bus. Some of them have owned a model of the van for decades; even a former neighbor of mine, now in his retirement years, still fondly reminisces about driving across country in his youth “to find himself” and reluctantly back home again.

I once knew a family that was so obsessed with their Volkswagen bus that they did everything possible to keep it running. Some 20 years into the relationship, however, the bus gave up and announced that the romance was over by catching fire while the owners were driving it across a bridge on a busy city street. The divorce papers were served and the family sadly accepted that there was no chance for reconciliation.

With the recent crisis of integrity, culture and leadership at Volkswagen, fans of the brand like the family I knew might be left with only distant memories of their favorite VW model. (read more…)