In a world where sharing feedback on companies online is so easy, companies continue to be faced with a large problem: How do we become the employer of choice in our industry? The answer to the question is not found within the industry or in what competitors are doing – it’s found with the employees of the company itself.

Many employers make assumptions on what their workforce wants – be it benefits, perks, forms of communication, system upgrades, etc. – but fail to ask the question to the employees directly. By engaging a workforce in the development and implementation of solutions, companies can see a more direct impact to employee satisfaction, loyalty, and, inevitably, productivity and the bottom line.

There are four easy steps to make this approach a reality at your organization: Outline the area of opportunity, discuss solutions, implement solutions, and then track progress and repeat. Following this process at a corporate level is fairly simple. One way that humano discovers areas of opportunity is by having a thought leader group discuss their concerns and ideas on how to solve them. The group is called the humano ThinkTank and meets once a month with employees from all levels. The ThinkTank discusses everything from pay and benefits to training, communication and family support – nothing is off limits. It’s a safe space to discuss what works, what doesn’t, and what we can do to be better people and a better company.

After the discussion, the ThinkTank sends a list of items to be corrected with the proposed solutions directly to the company’s executive team, which then acts on it. This part is key: Companies cannot ask for solutions to the problem and then not act on them. If it is worth discussing, it is worth doing. Failure to act on the concerns teaches employees the opposite of what you want to show them.

After humano puts the solutions in place, the entire company receives an update on what spurred the change and what the recommendation was. The company tracks feedback on the changes to ensure that the solution works. This process continues monthly, and we track progress using regular stay and exit interviews. By following a regular cadence in which the workforce is engaged in addressing areas to grow, and helping to implement and track solutions, employee buy-in is much higher, and employees feel true ownership in the company they work for.

This process of engaging employees in solutions does more than to just allow the company to improve; it also allows leaders to see new perspectives, teaches people within the company at all levels to speak up, and teaches the next generation of leaders that they are valued and important to the company running successfully.

The next time a problem is proposed in your business, I urge you to try out the humano ThinkTank method. You may find that the answers have been right in front of you all along.

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