I have been working for 30 plus years, managing for
most, owned several small businesses, have been training and consulting
for over a decade. I help organizations make the best use of their resources.
In doing so I discovered a key workplace dynamic: If you ask, they
Beyond your employees' routinely assigned task-work lies the most untapped, leveragable source of knowledge that your company has - yet I find it to be consistently the most under-utilized. You guessed it - your workers' wisdom. I call their collective wisdom your organization's "brain trust." This brain trust is comprised of all of the experience, knowledge, and insight that workers bring to the office every day along with their coffee and doughnut. You will find they are anxious to share their knowledge if you allow them to give you a piece of their mind. And it doesn't cost you one payroll-cent more! (Not surprisingly, people are awarded college credit for life experiences yet most employers don't ever seek to put this experience to good use.)
Sometimes it's about their daily jobs. Yet surprisingly often it is about other functions of your business - fiscal improvements, customer service, marketing, even corporate culture. Whatever they know that can help your organization reach its objectives, you want to know about now. Using this priceless information will be a key factor to your success as a manager and an organizational leader.
Yet, there is a huge leveraged payback. It is called "Unleashing The Possible," a consulting program I developed over many years and use with incredible success. The program is so simple and inspirational that every worker enthusiastically participates. Contributions abound and the harvest of useful information is abundant.
regarding the important
aspects of your business, marketplace, working conditions, products, how
the company is managed, the sales process, customer service, client relationships,
productivity, co-worker relationships, and so on. You get the idea. Then
ask them how they would improve your organization's performance in
the key areas you choose to pursue. They will tell you willingly the first
time. When you "close the loop" with 720-degree feedback, they
will likely tell you the next time you ask as well. Get them involved
in these improvements and they will be enthusiastic and motivated. All
of a sudden, you have expanded the "brain trust" of your organization
to include your entire workforce. Hmmm. Seems pretty valuable. IT IS.
When workers get feedback on their suggestions and are involved in developing and implementing improvements they recommended (that you sanction, of course), their understanding of overall business, and your organization and industry, evolve. They learn to be better at their job and beyond. They subsequently bring this additional knowledge to work each and every day, yet it does not cost one cent more of your payroll dollars. In fact, productivity goes up and so does the bottom line. Period.