Why Your Employees Have Better Ideas

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Scenario: "Dude, I'm the boss and I say we need a million-dollar CRM system to improve customer service. Customers will love us. Billions, here we come. You're welcome. Yay!" Oh-fo-shizzle. CEOs, marketing VPs, and other senior managers incessantly search for the next-great-innovative-company idea like it's some freakin' Easter Egg hunt for adults. Yet, most ignore the most delicious source for those super-spectacular-innovative ideas to improve their companies: their average, everyday employee.

Employee Ideas Rock Like Kool-Aid

Yeah, some folks might be saying: "Look, you sons-of-biatches. I'm the head honcho. I know everything. I command everything. Can't touch this. Yay!" Whoa, whoa, whoa: Hold on there, buddy. We'll explain.

How Amazingly Awesome Managers Do It

Amazingly awesome managers confront these similar everyday business problems:

  • How can we improve customer service?
  • What products do clients need?
  • How can we improve employee productivity?
  • How do we improve company morale?

Are you an amazingly awesome manager? Check yo' self: If you could choose one of the two responses below, you'd choose: Response A: "Dudes, we'll send customers birthday cards to improve service. We'll buy the next-great-tech product because customers will need it to stay with the pack. Then, we'll hire motivational speakers to boost employee productivity. Finally, we'll give handshakes to improve employee morale. Handshakes. Yes!" Response B: "Dudes, let's first talk to our fabulous front-line employees and see what ideas they recommend. We'll base our ultimate decisions on their answers." If you chose B: ding, ding, ringlin', ding, ding: you're one correct badass.

Why Employee Input Rocks

Employees have the juiciest information available: they interact with customers and fellow-employees, like-all-the-time.

  1. With employees, they know what's draining and demotivating other team members.

    Think of any workplace you've worked in the past. Who knew more about fellow-employee Johnny's sentiments about the company: you, or boss Billy?
  2. With customers, they know what customer types ultimately want.

    Yeah, a client may tell you it needs customer-service software. But what it really want: improve customer retention scores by 200% next year. With healthy working-relationships, only those front-line employees will uncover your client's ultimate goals -- then send you innovative ideas to serve similar clients in the future.

Here's a sweet switch in perspective: think of your employees as partners. You'll go a long way in rocking your business.

"So how do I get employee input?"

Don't fall into the vicious trap: saying nothing. How most businesses seek employee input:

  1. We won't ask for your input.
  2. If you do have good ideas, we want to hear them.
  3. But, we won't tell you ^2.

You'd be much better off tacking a giant freakin' poster that says: "Look badasses, we value your input. Tell us how we can rock your work environment." The even better idea? Reward employee input. Formalize the sucka. For instance:

  • Cash for recommendations incorporated
  • Annual awards for cleverest idea, etc.
  • Hawaiian trip for best contributor
  • Insert yours: ______________

That subconsciously gets your employees thinking: "Hey, they freakin' value my ideas. I'm a badass that can make a contribution to the company. Fight on!" If you encourage them:

Employees will rock your business with deliciously juicy, sexy, and amazingly awesome ideas.


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Posted on November 14

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