Employees have an incredible amount of information about the day-to-day operations, successes and failures of your business. They’re more than happy to share what they know, and that knowledge can be harnessed to shape the organization, focus efforts, and shoot you straight to your goals.
It’s too bad they don’t feel like their employers take stock in what they have to say.
According to Gallup’s most recent State of the American Workplace report, only 30% of employees strongly agree that their opinions seem to count at work. That means 60% of employees aren’t standing up and sharing what they see, and how it can improve because they feel you won’t listen.
But by asking for, and seriously considering, employee input, leaders can:
- Make more informed decisions
- Identify strengths and weaknesses with product, services, and client relations
- React quickly to market shifts
- Strengthen employee relationships
Employees that can successfully express their opinions feel valued and empowered to make decisions, voice ideas, and provide significant contributions to their workplace. All you have to do is ask, and act.
If you only ask and never act on the advice or concern being voiced, then the entire process is just a waste of your time and theirs. After all, what’s the point of them taking time out of their workday to talk to their employers if the employers never do anything with the information they provide? If you want to show employees, you take their opinions and ideas seriously:
- Promote open dialogue through stand-up meetings, 1:1s, 30-60-90 day reviews, and informal get-togethers.
- Provide cross-training and development opportunities.
- Encourage creativity and innovation through inter-office contests and promotions
- Keep them on their toes by asking for ideas and feedback on company operations.
- Be open and honest with your feedback.
- Endorse good opinions and ideas and work through the ones that could use improvement, or provide reasons why it won’t work.
- Create feedback loops to keep employees involved in the decision-making processes.
- Be engaged in day-to-day operations and ask for input regularly.
By proactively asking employees for their opinions, addressing the ideas that aren’t feasible and endorsing the ones that work, employers create stronger bonds with employees and see improved levels of performance and productivity. Keeping them in the loop throughout the decision-making process and making sure they understand why something worked, or didn’t, shows that they have an impact and allows them to be more engaged and connected with the organization.
Hopefully this blog will help you tackle the seventh element of engagement. Stay tuned as we count down to number 12!
If you missed the preceding articles in the Employee Engagement Series:
- Start with Expectations
- Focus on Productivity
- Allow Employees to Do their Best Work
- Give Praise
- Show You Care
- Encourage Development