If there is anything we’ve learned over the years, it’s that having the courage to stand up and share your voice can make an incredible difference in your company. Just imagine if everyone felt empowered enough to speak their mind—it would create insurmountably better business.
At our company, your voice; your company means giving everyone a platform to share their ideas and work toward a common vision. Everyone is an important part of the process; things like rank and tenure aren’t part of the equation. It is the voice of our colleagues that plays a vital role in driving our business evolution forward.
Management’s “open-door policy” is seldom enough to encourage employees to speak their mind. Instead, focus on creating an environment where people feel safe enough to share their opinions. Foster a culture that values colleague feedback and you will see this effort met with an increased sense of ownership in your reinvention process. Here are a few easy ways to get started:
Put Your Thinking Caps On
At times, we all get so bogged down with daily to-do’s that we’re focused on simply trying to survive. But when you take the time to step away for a little and think, great things can happen. At our company, we host hack-a-tons, where we give our developers a day to work on something they want. This allows our colleagues to come up with fresh ideas that we’ve taken further and developed new products.
Implement a formal process for submission of suggestions and opinions. Make sure your colleagues know this process is strictly confidential and include thanks and recognition for their participation.
Praise Your Staff Regularly
Let your colleagues know their voice is the cornerstone of your company’s success. Accomplishments should be celebrated in an open forum. At our company, we do this in the form of First Friday, an all-staff meeting that takes place on the first Friday of the month where we praise colleagues’ achievements in front on the entire organization.
Implement a Reward Program
A reward program that recognizes individual achievements can provide extra incentive for colleagues. While they would certainly appreciate monetary rewards for a job well done, there are other ways to effectively recognize their accomplishments. Consider things like long lunch breaks or starting late/leaving early. No matter what you choose, make sure your recognition methods are sincere, fair and consistent.
Establish a Company Intranet
Create a forum where colleagues can find information, discuss problems and share ideas for solutions. Such a tool will help to create a culture of openness, resulting in increased engagement and satisfaction.
Interact with Employees Outside of Work
Hold company-sponsored lunches or conferences where employees might feel freer to speak. Your leadership can also meet with different departments for lunch and ask that one suggestion for improving the company be shared by each colleague.
The bottom line is that you can’t grow your business unless you allow your colleagues to stand up and be heard. Encourage them to share their voice because they can, and will, make a difference. When everyone works with purpose and the freedom to share their experience, reinvention will become part of your company’s DNA.
Now that you understand the importance of establishing a strong voice that empowers your colleagues, it’s time to take the next step. Check out our next post where we’ll share how we love our work every day, and how you can too.