I recently was looking up ways to encourage employees in the workplace environment when things go wrong and I stumbled upon this fantastic piece: “The One Question Every Boss Should Ask To Inspire Employees” (Schwartz 2016). I thought this small opinion had weight even though in the realm of Organizational Development it did not have a lot of meat, nor did it go on forever citing study after study.
This article discussed the terminology in the average OD textbook like:
- the hierarchy scheme in the workplace,
- Abraham Maslow,
- Innovation (Schwartz 2016).
All of these terms, as the author mentions are important to the productivity and morale of an organization’s employees. A boss that asks or shows that they care about what an employee thinks, will see increases in both avenues when it comes to the bottom line in their department (Schwartz 2016). Encouraging creativity and feedback helps an organization learn what they are doing well, and what they are just wasting resources on.
Who better to inform the organization (besides the customers) about what works and what doesn’t than the employees? That is the lesson I gained from this article, and although it seems like common sense it is not something that is practiced in the work place today. How many times have you seen a situation in your organization go south after you informed a supervisor about a possible unpleasant occurrence?
How many times have you stated the solution to an organization’s problem to a supervisor only to sit there and see the organization sit on its hands to hoping that it would go away?
How many times have you stated the solution to an organization’s problem to a supervisor only to sit there and see the organization run around in circles like a dog chasing its tail while the problem gets worse?
This article is one of those opinion pieces that I could go on forever about but the point I am making is that it should be read and shared! The only way you can see something that should be common sense be integrated into the workplace is to show that it is being done elsewhere. That somewhere some other company or organization had the courage to listen and engage their employees and… it worked!!!
Print off this article and hand it out, email it to other coworkers or supervisors that are willing to listen, to new ideas or are tired of walking in circles. Putting the buzz out there that engaging employees positively will increase innovation and productivity is something that every supervisor will want to listen to. As the author states when things become stale his organization initiates a 24-hour think tank to come up with solutions to problems and boost the organization out of its funk (Schwartz 2016). For the record, I do not think you need a 24-hour think tank, I think even 24 minutes will do!
Think about it, how much better would your organization be if your supervisor took 24 minutes a week to discuss issues at the job and possible solutions with you? Would there be at least a glimmer of hope for your future with the organization? Would that engagement make it less likely for you to call off because that engagement made the job a little bit more bearable and in turn easier to get out of bed in the morning? Probably.
Schwartz, Tal (2016) The One Question Every Boss Should Ask To Inspire Employees JUNE 29, 2016 Fortune Inc., http://fortune.com/2016/06/29/how-do-you-inspire-employees/