Employees want to be involved and engaged in the organization. They want to be a part of something. Successful organizations – those who achieve their goals, continue to grow and prosper, compete effectively and recruit and retain top talent – are those organizations that encourage and expect participation from their employees in the organization.
This participation takes a variety of forms and includes:
- Strategic planning
- Business problem solving
- Brainstorming around new product and/or service ideas
- Customer engagement
- Process improvement initiatives
- Innovation teams
Participation may be through serving on teams, responding to surveys, collaboration on internal sites, contributing to knowledge bases, attending focus groups and sharing information in meetings with executives and leaders.
Smart organizations realize that employees are the closest to the customer and they are the ones who are completing the work of the organization. They see where improvements can and should be made and often have great ideas on products or services that will meet customer needs.
In order to cultivate a culture of employee participation in the business and its workings, leadership needs to not only encourage such participation but needs to enable for it. This means enabling from time during the workday to participate in initiatives or time off from the “day job” (day-to-day tasks) in order to participate on innovation teams. When employees are expected to be more involved in the organization, and are provided opportunities and encouragement to do so, they are more engaged in the organization and its success.
The learning opportunities are tremendous! The ability to attract, recruit and retain top talent increases immensely when candidates see that they have the ability to get involved in the inner workings of the organization and, effectively, help drive the direction in which the organization moves.
What does your organization do to cultivate a culture of participation and involvement?