In the United States, the big theme of July is Independence, usually accompanied by a crazy amount of fireworks. Fireworks that aren’t organized by professionals can be dangerous as well as loud.
So, what does this have to do with business? Try this: the wise business owner encourages employees to contribute to their business with product innovation, cost savings, streamlined operations, filing enhancements, inventory improvements and whatever they can do, typically within the confines of their job specialty. Sometimes these ideas get implemented and that’s great. Big fireworks!
Yet, sometimes, because the employee has limited knowledge of the company’s bigger picture plans, priorities, or budgets, the idea may fizzle and fall to the ground unrealized, a smoky heap of nothing really useful. Or is it?
You see, while ideas you implement are super, so are ideas that fizzle and go nowhere – really! The ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ moments are not only the money-making contributions, they’re the willingness of an employee to stick out a neck and try something different to enhance your company’s performance in some way.
The real treasure of an employee’s efforts is just that: their effort, not necessarily the impact it makes. When you reward effort, even when it doesn’t produce the hoped-for result, it motivates your team member to try again, to be committed to making a difference in your business; a difference that ultimately is more likely to produce financial gain for you and acknowledgement for the employee.
Once your team gets the message that there’s no downside to honest initiatives that don’t quite work, their fear of risk will decrease. And, with that, with their awareness that you’re open to ideas, where ever they come from, you can begin to organize their attempts. Perhaps you want to develop a line extender for an existing product. Or maybe you’re not happy with your inventory system or operations manual. Now’s the time to reach out to your team – especially those who work with the current product, inventory control or the operations manual. Let them know you want their ideas, even the wild and crazy ones as comedian Steve Martin might say. Now that you can encourage risk taking and they no longer fear reprisals, you’re guiding innovation in a way that matches your own priorities, your growth plans. Like coordinated fireworks whose pretty images elicit ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ while keeping time with your own music. So, perhaps not so ‘independence’ thinking but, rather, interdependent creativity. If you’re not sure how to build the process that will deliver these sparkling results, give us a call. We love building team programs that allow your employees to shine and your business to benefit.
Here come the – with coordinated music for your ears