Know Your Business – Ask Your Employees
Every business is hiding powerful, success-building, information “in plain sight.” It’s right there and it’s a sure path to more sales, profits and happiness. We just need to look at it or, more accurately, ask for it.
I don’t know why humans are so inclined not to ask people thoughts on a matter. I find this especially the case in smaller companies where most don’t think to ask employees for their candid insights, opinions and suggestions.
Scary And Vital
I suppose we’re afraid to ask because we don’t want to know. Maybe we’re expecting bad news and complaints. Maybe we don’t want to stir the pot, to poke the bear. And yet, information is perhaps our most powerful tool. What we see we can address. What we can’t see is hurting us and could eventually kill us.
Asking is worth the risk because employees are everywhere and see everything. Not like the CEO who sees very little from the “corner office” and often gets only carefully curated information. Let’s face it, no matter how involved the CEO is (and hopefully they’re not packing or entering orders) they live in a bubble. I know, I’ve been there and so have/are you.
A Free Engagement Booster
In addition to finding out a lot about a business and where it can be improved, a huge bonus benefit of asking employees is that it lifts engagement which increases productivity and reduces turnover. “What, they actually wanted to hear my opinion?!”
People want to feel heard. We want to feel important. We want to feel that we have some influence or control over our collective destiny. Being asked to share our thoughts addresses those wants in a powerful way.
Grab The Gold
Over the years I’ve encouraged every CEO I’ve worked with to conduct an internal survey to all employees. Almost all have followed through and every time, without fail, they’ve been super happy with the experience. Not only are the results typically better than they expected but more importantly it opens an exciting window into what’s working and what isn’t.
So please, conduct internal employees surveys. There’s gold in them thar hills; just grab it. Surveys come in many variations but in general just find out if people are happy and ask them what’s working and what isn’t. Then, and this is really, really, important, follow up with all of them by sharing some of the findings and selecting at least one suggestion, and hopefully more, that you’ll follow up on.