By Mike Kappel – Forbes
As a business owner, you have to make a lot of decisions. Even though you are the head honcho and have the most knowledge about the workings of your business, you might lack knowledge in some areas. Or, your business might be getting stale from a lack of fresh ideas.
Involving staff in decision making can make your business stronger. Your employees can supply you with new ideas that you would have never thought of.
Why You Should Have Employee Involvement In Decision Making
Involving employees in decision making can be beneficial for your business and employees.
When you let employees help with decisions, it shows that you trust them. Even if you only let employees give input to assist you in making the final decision, you still show that you value their opinions.
Asking employees for their opinions can give you different perspectives to make better decisions. While you have an overarching idea of your business, your employees are in the day-to-day trenches. Employees often work more closely with customers, so they know what buyers need and request. Employees can also come up with revenue-generating and cost-saving ideas.
Letting employees make decisions frees you up for work in other areas. For example, if employees have a say over how displays are set up, you might have more time for your accounting tasks checklist.
Involving Staff In Decision Making
You can’t simply hope employees will give you their opinions. You must actively seek their advice.
Below are three ways you can let employees help you make decisions.
Gathering good ideas is the first step to making good decisions. Create a system for employees to give you their suggestions. This might be a physical suggestion box. Or, you might have a digital alternative, such as a designated email or online form.
If you do have a suggestion box, make sure you regularly check it. Don’t let it go unopened for long periods of time. Create a routine of checking it. This helps you make timely decisions.
When employees give you suggestions, respond to them. Tell them how you will use their ideas. If the idea isn’t right at the time, make a note of it. Tell the employee that you appreciate their idea and explain why you aren’t using it. Be careful about rejecting all employee ideas. If employees notice that you never act on their ideas, they may quit submitting them.
Regularly survey employees to get their feedback. You might use a paper or electronic survey. The surveys can help you learn their opinions, ideas, and level of satisfaction.
When determining how to do a performance review, make sure you include a short employee survey. After you give employees feedback, ask them to give you feedback. Their responses can help you make decisions that will help your business and their positions improve.
Once you receive the feedback, use the results to take steps to improve your business. Look for common complaints and ideas. You can pull employees who had ideas or felt strongly about something and ask them for more details. Find out what changes they would make to improve your business.
You might set up leadership teams, or committees, at your business. The people on these teams don’t have to be managers. The teams can comprise any employees.
The leadership teams might have a general focus on your business. Or, you can create specific teams. For example, you might have a team that focuses on marketing decisions and another team that focuses on developing your products or services.
The teams should regularly meet to generate ideas and make decisions. Or, you might set up a communication channel for ongoing conversation. Committee members should feel free to give input about upcoming decisions.