Benefit From Your Greatest Assets

I’ve learned that some of the best ideas can come from any level within an organization over the years. While companies hire employees to fulfill certain functions, they may overlook the fact that team members’ roles are often interrelated and it’s the combined effort of minds that can make the most meaningful contributions to the company’s success. It’s important for the managers to encourage communication with all staff on a regular basis in an effort to uncover new ideas or determine if there are any changes the company should make.

At my company, TV Ears, we are aware that our employees possess many great suggestions. Organizations that actively encourage feedback and place importance on their opinions are also demonstrating a great respect for their team members. As a result, employees feel more connected and a part of the company. Here are three ways businesses can elicit feedback from staff:

Distribute surveys

Polling employees on a quarterly basis is an effective and inexpensive strategy for companies to uncover new trends. Team members may see the organization not succeeding in a certain area and have suggestions on ways to improve the situation. Implementing surveys where individuals have the option to provide feedback while maintaining their anonymity is preferable and will encourage staff to speak up without being fearful of repercussions.  

Discuss at annual reviews

During annual performance reviews, managers routinely address the strengths, weaknesses, and contributions of each staff member. Company’s should take advantage of this opportunity to ask employees one-on-one about ideas and suggestions they may have pertaining to the organization’s growth, policies and areas for improvement.

Coordinate group meetings

Depending on the size of the business and office locations, grouping together employees from different departments can lead to a wealth of new information. For example, our company hosts small group breakfast meetings each Friday for sales and marketing folks to discuss any new happenings or thoughts.

Organizations that take the time to elicit feedback from employees are setting themselves up to achieve greater success. In addition, staff members feel more significant when they are encouraged to express ideas.  It’s one of the easiest, useful and most affordable management tactics, and one that I believe any company can implement with great success.

About the author: George J. Dennis is the founder and CEO ofV TV Ears, fast-growing manufacturer of doctor recommended TV listening solutions. He can be reached at george@tvears.com.



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  • Linda Spevacek

    Great article, George. Employees and customers are probably a company's best sources of ideas, with leadership potentially coming in dead last! There are additional bottom line benefits to engaging employees as well. Numerous studies have shown that employee engagement (or lack thereof) is a huge problem that can cost a company hundreds of thousands of dollars for each $1 million in salary & benefits. The Gallop organization estimates the total cost at over $300 billion each and every year in the U.S. In addition to regularly soliciting ideas as you recommend, include more personal questions so your employees feel "known", such as what motivates them at work (it's not the money!), what their interests are, and whether they have a sense of purpose and meaning. Leaders who take the time to really get to know each one of the company's biggest assets will benefit greatly from improved team synergy, lower turnover, and increased productivity, all of which lead directly to enhanced profitability.