Your business succes depends entirely on the support and performance of  your employees. With staff playing a significant role in service, it’s undeniable that they’ll have opinions about their work, the organization, policies and procedures, and more.

In many workplaces, though, encouraging and implementing employee suggestions can fall by the wayside. And given the current economic situation, staff may be hesitant to speak up at a time when fresh ideas can be more crucial than ever.

Read on to discover ways to encourage feedback that boosts employee morale and can ultimately work to your team’s and organization’s advantage.

Why Encourage Input?

While it may seem easier at times to go along with the status quo, encouraging the free flow of ideas and embracing meaningful change can help transform a good workplace into a great one. Making your employees feel as though their thoughts and opinions are valued by you and your company will bring benefits that will be positive for the rest of your small or medium business. Welcoming employee input can:

  1. Improve job satisfaction. Staff members who sense their ideas make a difference will not only feel valued, but also more loyal to the organization.
  2. Create a better work environment. Managers and senior staff members may not completely understand the unique challenges that frontline or junior staff face. Employee input can help generate more relevant and responsive policies and procedures to address specific staff needs.
  3. Foster service excellence. Staff who work on the frontlines of your organization interact directly with customers, consumers and clients and they are the “face” of your organization. They, better than anyone, understand the value of great customer service. Practical suggestions, therefore, can empower your team with the tools to deliver better value and service to your clients and elevate your organization’s reputation.
  4. Create a sense of fairness. By collectively developing the strategies and work processes staff use every day (rather than just implementing those directed to them from management and senior staff) you’ll promote a more level playing field and avoid creating an “us and them” atmosphere.
  5. Inspire industry improvements. A staff that’s encouraged to innovate can be the force that helps build your organization’s reputation as a trail-blazer in the industry.
  6. Foster trust. Staff will be more open to sharing thoughts and ideas with a co-worker whom they can rely on and trust, especially with sensitive issues.
  7. Show stability. Being able to react rationally to crisis situations will cause your co-workers to view you in a higher regard. Exhibiting stability encourages staff to approach you with feedback, even if it’s about a negative matter.
  8. Exhibit leadership. Hiring effective employees will help ensure your credibility as a people leader and will hopefully generate a cohesive team. A team that can work well together will be more willing to share ideas and insights with fellow team members.
  9. Be open. Foster communication with staff by keeping them well-informed. If you keep co-workers “in the dark” or hide information from them, they’ll be less inclined to approach you with an important issue or concern.
  10. Maintain visibility. Managers who hide behind closed doors create a barrier to colleagues and signal that they’re not open to communication. If you often shut your office door or work at a location that is far from your colleagues, make the effort to visit and chat with them during