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Driving Innovation Through the Tools of the Trade

Updated on January 25, 2013

The second of a twelve-part series based the Gallup Q12.

The Gallup Q12 is a measure of employee engagement including twelve key expectations in the workplace. According to Gallup, "Engaged employees work with passion and feel a profound connection to their company. They drive innovation and move the organization forward.”

We posed inquiries on various social media sites and each hub in the series addresses one of the Q12 questions. (If you want to see all twelve questions, click on the link at the end of this article.)

Gallup Q12, Question #2: Do you have the materials and equipment to do your work right?

Having the right tools is essential for any job. However, establishing a culture where employees know that they can approach management to request what they need, or to get additional help when they require it, they are more engaged in the work process.

At one time, Arthur Fink, Owner at Insight and Clarity worked for a company in which the Founder/CEO made a point to get acquainted with all of his employees. This CEO regularly stopped by the offices of his staff members to thank them for their efforts and to ask them what they were working on.He also wanted to talk about their challenges and listen to their thoughts and criticisms of the organization. It was in this way that the CEO was able to ensure that his staff had what they needed to do their job in the best possible manner.

The CEO personally assisted Fink when he had problems with his materials on an urgent business trip. The CEO took the time to get a corrected set prepared and sent off by FedEx to Fink. Fink felt that the CEO was truly on his team, and he felt that he was a valued player on the CEO’s team.

When management rolls up their sleeves and pitches in to help, employees gain confidence in knowing that they will always have what they need to get their job done. Here are a few tips to instill assurance with your staff:

1. Take the time to get to know as many of your employees as you can by name. Dale Carnegie, author of How to Win Friends and Influence People said, “Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” When an employee is warmly greeted by a member of upper management by name, they feel acknowledged and appreciated. It also creates a safe environment for employees to share with management exactly what they need to do their job better.

2. Let your team members know how much you appreciate their efforts. The chairman of a Fortune 500 company periodically wrote “Congratulations, fantastic month” on the commission statements of the sales force. The reps looked forward to those notes, and these personalized statements were kept and treasured. The notes didn't take a lot of time to write, and they made the chairman seem more approachable and open.

3. Express interest in your staff's projects. Your employees know their job better than anyone else. Take the time to learn the basics of what your team members do to make your organization run efficiently. Be open and listen for suggestions they have to make it operate more effectively. When they share with you what they need to be more successful in their job, make sure they get it without having to jump through a lot of hoops. You may discover straightforward ideas that can make (or save) you millions.

Creating a positive work environment doesn’t take a lot of extra time, but it does take concentrated effort. It boils down to knowing what your staff does, letting them figure out ways to do it, and providing the tools to make it happen.




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