You often hear of people dreading Mondays, that the start of the working week is a genuine cause for distress. Not me. I have been lucky to find myself in a position at a company where I enjoy both the work and the people, but this did get me thinking – how many people dread the weekend ending, because they really do not want to face Monday morning?
A quick search on the internet showed how many people either hate their job or completely regret their career choice. One survey, conducted by the Association of Accounting Technicians back in 2015, showed that a whopping 27% of people were fed up in their jobs and wanted to quit their current role and that over half of those surveyed dreaded the week ahead when it came to a Sunday evening.
This same survey highlighted that 1 in 8 of workers felt that their ideas get ignored and that 1 in 6 feel that their standard of work suffers when they are unhappy in their role. We are all aware that by keeping employees happy, organisations will often see a marked improvement in other areas of the business, such as customer service. But what can companies do about keeping employees happy?
Employees are often unhappiest when they feel that they are not being listened too, or that their opinions are not valued. Introducing a formal process which enables employees to provide feedback and new ideas in an easy and non-threatening way is the ideal place to start. Whether you introduce a simple and traditional suggestion box in the break-out room method, or a more automated online system through your service management tools there are some simple things to keep in mind…
Check for suggestions regularly and consistently
Whether online or on bits of paper, it is important that the ‘suggestion box’ is regularly checked for new feedback, ideas or suggestions. Even if this is one a month or every other month, make sure that it happens when you have said it will be checked. If people see that their efforts are not being looked at, they will lose any interest in submitting ideas.
Give people the power to vote
Employees are in one of the best positions to generate ideas on areas that could bring improvements to the organisation, from ideas that increase productivity, saves the company money or improves service to customers. But you will need to sort the good ideas from the not so good ideas, and a great way to create your shortlist is to enable other employees to ‘vote’ for their favourite ideas by rating each suggestion. The ones with the highest score can then be put forward for further consideration.
Remember to implement and respond
The number one rule to listening to feedback and suggestions is to either respond, take action or implement the ideas that get put forward. Ensure that your employees know that they are being listened to and that their thoughts and opinions are being considered. If you don’t do this, there is very little point in introducing the process in the first place!
It’s important to let your employees feel listened to, by encouraging thought and idea generation there is a huge amount of potential to not only increase the happiness of your staff but to also reap considerable benefits from ideas that come to fruition.