Ask the People Who Do the Work

By Deborah Gantos

Last issue we talked about getting your employees engaged in promoting and growing your business. Here are some more ideas.

  • Talk to them one on one. You say you have too many people and no time? Not so. A top executive from a Fortune 500 company was famous for walking in the door each day and instead of cloistering himself in his office, would walk around the company, stopping to talk to the employees. He knew everyone by name and something about their personal life. Taking a personal interest in the people who work for you gives them recognition and validation. How much time does it take to spend a few minutes each day engaging with your staff and employees? A small amount considering that it is fostering and renewing loyalty, commitment and motivation.


  • Be sure to insist that your managers or second level executives do the same. Encouraging and ensuring that the same positive message is delivered throughout the entire organization, from the bottom of the organizational chart to the top. Remember the old adage “Lead by example”? It works.


  • Install suggestion boxes in optimal locations and ask the people who do the work what they can think of to save money, improve processes, etc. A student at the university I teach at thought of an idea to recycle electronic equipment and saved the company thousands of dollars. I also suggest some sort of monetary reward to promote the idea that their ideas are valued and will be seriously considered.