Small business owners are a confident group; it’s scary to open a small business and the confidence it takes not just to open one but believe the concept will work is a hallmark of someone with strong self-belief. However, this self-belief can inhibit people from contributing ideas. A good workplace has an open exchange between employees and their leaders. Facilitating this exchange is critical to success.
An insecure boss will see any pushback as insubordination, but a great boss appreciates creative tension as a place where progress happens. A forthright employee makes objective observations and communicates them to leadership. An insubordinate employee makes comments of a personal nature and disregards instructions. Forthright employees are not the easiest people to listen to, but they’re dedicated to the success of a business. Embrace forthrightness, eliminate insubordination.
Many small business owners quickly forget what it’s like to be the guy on the widget line. A small business owner must understand the challenges of a position, both the functional challenges and the mental challenges. This understanding leads to empathy and creates an environment where employees feel comfortable sharing. It’s this type of environment where an employee will come to a boss and provide input on how to make the job more efficient.
The suggestion box is a bad idea because anonymity leads to backbiting and sniping. Instead, take time to get employee feedback. Creative roundtables are a great idea because feedback is encouraged and the environment is naturally collaborative. A good idea is having these roundtables outside of the office. Heading to an informal breakfast or dinner allows people to feel a little freer and offer interesting new ideas.
There are plenty of great ideas for small businesses from not just employees, but ROI consultants. Find creative ways to solve problems by setting up a meeting today. Email here.