Business owners and leaders often assume they know how their employees think, how they feel, what they know, and what they don’t know. They assume the best, when in reality it’s been reported that 70% of employees are either disengaged (very bad) or actively disengaged (really, really bad).
Creating a culture where employees are encouraged and rewarded for thinking, for playing devil’s advocate, for evaluating how things are done, or for suggesting alternatives, should be the goal of any business owner. Unfortunately, too many company cultures simply evolve (which is where the problem begins) instead of being purposefully created and continually guided based on clear values, behavioral expectation, and systems that reward success.
It’s important for any company, no matter the size, to regularly assess how employees feel and how they think. In an organization where open communication is not a given, start with an anonymous employee survey to get people to open up and be honest about what they feel and see. Once you have that information, start creating employee circles where issues from the survey are put on the table for discussion and where suggestions for improvement can be made in a safe environment.
At this point, begin to integrate employee input into your daily culture, so people feel free to weigh in through informal conversations and weekly one-on-one check-ins instead of anonymous surveys. When people feel their opinions are valued, they’ll feel more confident that they themselves are valued. And that will kickstart a wonderful upward spiral of improved processes, performance, and bottom line!
Need help with this topic or leadership coaching? Contact Mission Critical Teams.