Employees: Underutilized Human Assets
Attention business owners and managers. Take a look at your employees. Every day, they have a unique perspective in regard to production, business processes, quality control, serving customers, etc. Are they sharing this information with you so that you can better serve your customers?
Your employees don’t live in a box. Their perspective is extremely valuable and can positively impact your bottom line. Do you allow them to share their perspective? And, have you let them know that it’s safe to share their ideas – even the ideas that conflict with standard procedures or your own “pet” projects?
Management style has changed through the years to allow for the employees’ voices to be heard. To gather their feedback is not a sign of weakness (as it once appeared to be decades ago). Quite the opposite is true. Gathering employees’ feedback is a strategic, continuous improvement effort. In fact, this demonstrates your solid leadership skills. Following are some benefits to utilizing employee feedback.
Increased Ownership & Motivation. When you engage employees, they know that you value their ideas and are more apt to take on more responsibility. No longer are they watching the clock or aiming for the status quo. Creativity and problem solving injects energy into any situation.
Informed Staff. An informed staff is better suited to excellent customer service. Further, your staff will use this information for the betterment of the company. Effective communication should be open and clear. A successful company does not perform well if only the management is aware of its objectives.
Teamwork. Management doesn’t carry the burden of continuous improvement, increasing sales, and satisfying customers on its own. Doing so, and increasing the bottom-line, is a company-wide effort. Each employee understands how his/her daily activities impact the end customer.
How to make it work? As the manager, be transparent and continually tell your employees that you need their feedback. If you try an idea that doesn’t work, don’t immediately shut down to this new way of thinking. Keep trying and when you find an idea that does work, praise openly and honestly. Also, drive this new lean culture/continuous improvement from the top down. Managers must check the old-school style at the door and be in full support of this effort.