When we hear someone talk about entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurial spirit we often think of this brave individual charging off in the world of ideas, ready to venture out on his/her own. What we don’t think of is the employee with all kinds of ideas on how to do the job better or create new direction. This employee doesn’t want the risk of venturing out on their own. They like the comfort of being employed and there are lots of them.
As an employer, you should be embracing the spirit of these individuals for they may be the ones to keep your business in the forefront in this ever-changing world. They won’t however, if you constrain them in their everyday work and don’t engage them in conversation to get their thoughts on the work they are doing.
An employee needs to feel the environment that they work in allows them to contribute and doesn’t punish for making mistakes. There is an old saying, “If you aren’t making mistakes, you’re not trying hard enough.” There should be opportunities for employees to present a change in the way things are done and, if it seems reasonable, be allowed to try. Sometimes it doesn’t work but, by trying, something else does.
A local Nanaimo firm had a large whiteboard on a wall. If an employee had an idea, the name of the employee and the idea went on the board. A team put the idea through its paces, recording each on the board, until there was a decision to use it, or not. They were rewarded for the idea in either case.
If you do not include your employees in how your business functions, you are missing out on keeping processes simple and current. The person doing the job usually has the information on how to do it more efficiently, if you ask them and include them.
A side benefit is you will have less turnover.
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