Many employees submit new ideas to their supervisors, but their thoughts often fall on deaf ears. Do not be a manager that lets outstanding ideas that could benefit the company fall through the cracks. Encouraging your employees to submit their ideas can bring fresh innovations and greater efficiency into the office.
Reassure Employees That Ideas Are Welcome
Surprisingly, many employees want to offer new ideas, but they are not sure if their ideas are welcomed by management. Remember to reassure your employees that it is okay to offer ideas to management or in front of the group as a whole. Some employees may also think they may be ridiculed or punished if they make suggestions to change office rules or procedures. Reiterate to employees that sharing ideas will not affect their job security, pay or status at work. Also, tell employees that all ideas will be considered.
Offer Rewards and Recognition
Make sure you motivate your employees to share by offering them perks and recognition for doing so. Giving gift certificates, plaques or bonuses are some ways to reward employees for submitting superb ideas to the company. A great reward or recognition system can result in an outflow of excellent ideas in the office.
Hold Meetings and Conversations With Employees
Employees who share new ideas show they are engaged in the workplace, and this behavior can be encouraged by listening to ideas for improvement in group meetings and personal conversations. Gaining a fresh perspective from employees during company meetings can start meaningful conversations and provide valuable insight on how to make office improvements. The more often meetings are held where employees can brainstorm ideas and freely discuss solutions to problems, the more ideas will be generated, and employees will grow more comfortable with idea sharing. Develop an open relationship with your employees, and they will be more likely to share new ideas and possible solutions in basic conversations as well.
Offer Anonymous Input Methods
Some workers have new ideas for improving office operations, but they may be hesitant to speak to a manager. Giving employees an anonymous way to submit ideas to the organization allows employees who want confidentiality to maintain it. Placing an idea box in the hallway, restroom or the human resources department is one anonymous input method for new ideas. Another way that managers can encourage employee idea submission is allowing them to do so by email or telephone.
Implement Good Ideas
If word travels around the office that many ideas were submitted to no avail, employees may not bother to participate in the future. Be sure to act on excellent ideas that emerge from the office to motivate your employees to keep it up. Not only will the office environment and employee morale increase, but clever employees can take pride in seeing their ideas come to life.
Managers are wise to listen to the new ideas that employees propose by giving them many opportunities to share whenever they wish. Embracing employee ideas can raise office efficiency and improve operations in a very short time.
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