Too many businesses are worried about playing it safe. They don’t want to uncover the bad stuff that is happening in their business, so they look the other way instead. Human Resources is there to protect the company. Upper management only wants to know about positive sales figures.
Who can most employees turn to?
They don’t turn to anyone; they just leave.
I want to rehumanize (I borrowed the word from Chris Brogan) business so that people feel free to speak up. The only way business is going to become faster, more enjoyable and more profitable is if you have every person in your company and even your customers become a part of your marketing department. That means they tell their friends, family and their internet buddies that your products/services are awesome.
Eliminate Employee Criticism
A great way to reduce or eliminate badmouthing of the company by the employees is to give them the chance to talk about what is bothering them, listen to their concerns, and allow employees to be a part of the change.
BzzAgent’s CEO Dave Balter learned that his employees’ opinions mattered. They mattered so much that the whole company addresses everyone’s issues, from needing four pronged forks in the lunch room to discussing how they can communicate with clients better. He created an anonymous suggestion box that was open to everyone. This created an opportunity to listen to and address people’s problems.
There will be times when a company is unable to accommodate an employee, but most employees understand this. At least they had a chance to make their feelings heard.
Your company probably has a few disgruntled employees. Every company has them. If you aren’t listening to their needs, you are creating a divided culture.
Think about what you can do to improve your listening skills and deal with your employees’ needs.
When a company stops treating their employees as dollar signs and actually allows them to direct the company, that company gains 1,000 paddles in the ocean pushing their message out to potential customers. Believe me, the money will flow back into the company. I promise. All it takes is a leap of faith.
In the next post we’ll talk about how to unleash every employee’s creative marketing beast.
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* Gallup wrote an interesting piece called How to Bolster Employees' Confidence. I'll give you a hint, encouraging words matter.
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Image courtesy of CC Chapman