Are your employees active or passive in identifying problems and inefficiencies in your company’s current situation? How committed are your employees to the success of your organization?
Your employees- the doers- work with your systems and processes every day and may have their own ideas on how to make their work more efficient. Employees on the front line who are in direct contact with customers will often have valuable insight into customer concerns and feedback. Employees who feel committed to their organization’s success, want to contribute to improving the processes they work with. Improvement suggestions could address the job, product or service, work environment, or the overall company. However, the opportunity for improvement is missed when an organization does not promote a culture that engages employees to share these ideas.
Tips for encouraging employee engagement:
Provide an outlet for making suggestions: Provide a process for employees to share ideas. This can be done through the classic suggestion box, ideas committee, Idea Boards, huddles, or brainstorming sessions.
Open Door Policy: Great ideas can happen at any time. Make time for your employees when they ask if you have a moment. This builds trust and demonstrates that you value what they have to say.
Acknowledge suggestions: Ideas will stop flowing if employees submit their suggestions and left to wonder if they have been read and what their manager thought. Managers should go back to the source of the suggestion quickly with acknowledgment and feedback on the idea.
Suggest Topics for Feedback: Look at your current corporate problems for which you do not have all the answers. Challenge your employees with questions and encourage them to provide feedback and solutions.
Provide Incentives: Find the right mix of incentives to entice employees to share their ideas.
Act on Great Ideas: Suggestions for improvement are useless if nothing happens with them. Great ideas should be recognized and management should explore implementing the changes.
Involve employees in Change Implementation: People may be hesitant to changes when they don’t know how they will be affected. The more your employees understand the need for a process change, the more apt they will be to responding favorably. Ask employees what they think about a new process, as they may be able to give insight.
To learn how you can engage you, employees, in continuous improvement, contact us today, [email protected].