By Gemma Spinks,
One of the biggest assets of any company is its people and the best thing about people is that they are all different. And being different means you see, feel and hear things in different ways. So why are employees concerned that their management team won’t take on board the ideas and observations of someone who is more junior than them?
Everybody in a business has a value, a reason they are there and an opportunity to make the business better. If you encourage your employees to take that opportunity and run with it then the business can often benefit from some really valid points that influence a change you could have never imagined.
And employees must not feel afraid to influence change. Some of the best decisions and suggestions are made by those on the frontline, the ones who truly live and breathe the business and you can be any level, sit anywhere in the hierarchy and be any type of qualified to make that judgement.
MD’s, CEO’s and Board Directors are there for a reason and they hold those positions because they deliver, but as part of that role, it is easy to momentarily lose sight of what’s really happening on the ground. Employees of all levels can provide the eyes and ears; after all, they know the customers, products, services and the rest of the team better than anyone else. So as employers we must encourage them to influence a change that we know will make a positive difference.
Spend time fostering a culture that empowers your team to collect a case, discuss ideas with others in the team and then make suggestions to the board or management team in a professional and considered way. And if they aren’t bold enough to do this in person think about putting in place an anonymous forum to allow for more free speech and give employees the confidence to speak up in person next time without fear of any backlash.
With this in mind though, it is important to always explain to employees why a no is a no sometimes. Whether it might not be the right time for a change, cost, or other changes already taking place, it’s important they aren’t left feeling disheartened by a no decision. You don’t want them to lose the passion and drive to influence a change that they had to begin with.
If businesses can learn to put these simple steps in place and empower their staff with free speech, the ability to share and drive ideas then the entire business will know that any employee, regardless of job title, is qualified to truly influence a change.
Gemma Spinks is a Director at Neo PR.