Wouldn’t it be great if your workforce treated your business as if it were their own and helped you to solve problems as they arise? We hear all the time that to get the best out of your staff you need to provide them with safety, security and a satisfaction at work.
In other words, it’s all about culture. But where do you start?
After all, you still have a business to run, customers to keep happy and bills to pay.
One of the quickest ways to promote a positive culture is to empower your employees to report issues and identify areas for improvement.
Because nobody knows the individual job better than the person who is performing it. And it’s amazing how often your employees will come up with a simple solution to something when it is directly bothering them.
Solve my problems: How can you encourage constructive suggestions?
Thank staff for raising issues then encourage them to find a solution.
But not every solution will be possible, some may even seem ridiculous.
PeopleVision Director, Gina Nardone says “your response sets the scene for next time. Take them seriously, act fast and acknowledge all issues and ideas.”
Great ideas should be acknowledged, publically where appropriate.
Those that are impossible and the ones that are just a gripe should still be acknowledged with an explanation provided.
When staff realise know they are heard they are more likely raise issues again. When ideas are rewarded, staff start looking for more opportunities for improvement. The cycle has begun.
Furthermore, timeliness is key.
Even though an improvement may take time to implement, communicate with staff early so they know what to expect.
Then engage your team in the change process from the beginning.
Solve my problems: Whose idea was that?
It’s true there will be at least one suggestion that makes you wonder why you bother. I’ll bet you can already guess who who it will come from!
Then use a public forum to still acknowledge the point; even though you might find yourself explaining that while you appreciate all suggestions, doubling staff salaries is not realistic.
And take the suggestion seriously and explain the impact if you were to agree, even if it seems ridiculous. Go on the offensive, rather than the defensive.
Staff will see that you listen to and consider all ideas, no matter how out of the box they are, while helping to discourage unrealistic suggestions in the future.
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