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Do Employee Opinions Matter?

Updated on January 26, 2013
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The seventh of a twelve-part series based the Gallup Q12

Do employee opinions matter in business? Yes. According to Gallup, "Incorporating employee ideas pays back twice. First, the idea itself often is a good one. Second and equally powerful, because the idea comes from the employees themselves, it is much more likely that they will commit to its execution. Welcoming employee opinions also produces greater feelings of inclusion among workers.” (2)

This hub is the seventh of a twelve-part series based the Gallup Q12, a twelve question measure of employee engagement. (1) This hub addresses Gallup Q12 Question 7: At work, do your opinions seem to count? (If you want to see all twelve questions, you will find the link at the end of this article.)

Randy Fernandes, ACC, CPCC, a Professional Leadership Career Coach with We All Make Choices, shares how he felt like a valued team player when management asked him for his opinion on the direction and strategic initiatives of the organization.He says, “When managers ask questions, they distinguish themselves as the true leaders and team builders of the company.” (3)

Head of Human Resources at DreamWorks, Dan Satterthwaite says the management team actively seeks out employee suggestions in everything from product introductions to pitching an idea for a new movie."The work that we do is so collaborative that we must have people who can not only sit at their desk and solve a problem, but then be able to articulate that solution to their supervisor and to the team," he says. DreamWorks looks to hire people who have a passion for what they do and are able to communicate their novel ideas to others within the organization. (4)

Program Manager, Eric Alberto reveals, “Anytime an employer has empowered me and trusted me with an important project or task, I feel my work is being appreciated by their confidence in my work. That's why I feel it is crucial as a manager and a leader to put people in positions they can succeed in.” (3)

What can you do to encourage your employees to express their personal point-of-view within your organization?

1. Take the time to ask questions of your team members and show sincere interest in their responses. Be open to whatever answers they give, whether you agree or not. Create a safe environment for sharing and you will reap rewards. Keep in mind, employees can tell when you are not focusing on them, so set everything else aside for the moment and just listen.

2. Go against the grain. Ask for the opinions of staff members that have nothing to do with the product or project that you are working on. You will most likely receive input that is altogether different from what you're used to getting. Encourage feedback from all levels of the organization, and even if you don't use the ideas, thank the person for sharing them.

3. Turn over prestigious projects and trust that your personnel will get them done. Have confidence in your employees, enable them to use their talents, and they will succeed in ways you may not have imagined. This will also enable you to get more of your plans completed, including the "nice to do" undertakings instead of just the "have to do" projects.

You will grow your business exponentially when you seriously consider the ideas and opinions of the people that work for you. Ask for feedback, allow your staff members to use their creativity and be willing to let go. Don’t you have enough to do without having to oversee everyone else as well? When you take care of your staff, they will take care of you.


References:

(1) http://www.artsusa.org/pdf/events/2005/conv/gallup_q12.pdf

(2) http://businessjournal.gallup.com/content/102490/Seventh-Element-Great-Managing.aspx

(3) What was the BEST thing an employer ever did to make you feel .., http://www.linkedin.com/answers/professional-development/career-management/PRO_C
MA/1037515-26269848 (accessed January 20, 2013).

(4) Company values ideas, input from every employee – USATODAY.com. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/jobcenter/workplace/bruzzese/story/2012-07-
22/dreamworks-values-innovation-in-all-workers/56376470/1

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