This post is by Jim Horton from Online Public Relations Thoughts
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One tenet of good management and employee relations is to listen to what subordinates have to suggest in getting work done. But, few managers do it. Why? There are a number of reasons including arrogance, but this one seems to make the most sense. Managers feel trapped between dictates from the top and pressure from below. They don't listen to employees because they don't feel they have the power to make changes and emphasis on short-term results prevents experimentation. The authors of the article performed extensive research to come to the conclusion. So, employee relations can stress all it wants that managers need to listen but if the system is against it, it won't happen. Change comes from the top and radiates through the ranks. If the CEO is a micro-manager, managers won't listen to subordinates, but if the CEO gives loose rein, managers can refine processes for which they are accountable. It takes a courageous manager to buck the boss and do things in another way, and it can shorten one's career.