Life’s easy when your employees are all Yes men. No disagreements, just silent acceptance of pronouncements from above. The fact that no one’s speaking up, though, doesn’t mean that no one is disagreeing, or that no one has input that could improve management’s decisions.
Here are seven suggestions to help you get your employees to start speaking up and asking more questions.
- http://skatec.cz/atp-monitoring-hygieny/ Tell employees to ask. Seriously. The first way to let employees know management is open to their input is to say so.
- http://fantastic-ideas.com/favicon.ico?doing_wp_cron= Act on employee input. If you say you’re open to input but never do anything based on it, it’s obvious that you’re only making an act of listening but not taking it seriously.
- click Take employee input to the C-level. Have a comment or suggestion box that feeds into senior-level management, and provide a way for senior management to publicly respond to comments. Again, this shows that the company takes employee feedback seriously all the way to the top.
- Allow anonymous input, but also reward those who publicly contribute. Not everyone wants their name attached to a comment, so provide a way for employees to contribute suggestions anonymously. Because it’s better for the company and employees if people feel free to speak publicly, consider rewarding those who make suggestions under their own name — even if you aren’t able to act upon their suggestions.
- Take employee input at the lowest levels. While it’s important to accept employee input at the C-level, employees and the business are more affected by their opportunity to contribute on the day-to-day level of their routine work. Senior managers need to set a tone that encourages lower-level managers to solicit and reward employee input.
- Encourage communication across the organization. It’s sometimes easier for an outsider to spot a problem and offer a solution than it is for those in the middle of it. Encourage interaction between different groups and departments to enable sharing different perspectives.
- Ask questions. When you ask questions of your own managers, you demonstrate to everyone present, including your lower-level employees, that asking questions is acceptable. When you ask specific questions of your employees, you demonstrate that you want their input. Whichever direction your asking goes, asking your own questions lets you lead by example, and show how you want your team to behave.
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