Listen Up Companies!

A lot of us know what it is like to work for a company that does not seem to value its staff; especially bottom line staff.  It can be very disheartening!

Companies who are successful embrace the bottom line staff, as they are usually the people who have direct interaction with customers on an every day basis.  So isn’t it important to keep these people happy so that they contribute to a good reputation for your company?  Isn’t it a smart business move to ask these staff members what they think your company can improve on and listen to what they want and need from you in terms of employee satisfaction incentives?

This is where we can look to the groundswell once again – to find out what people need from each other.  And we do not have to spend lots of money or take a lot of time to do it!

Best Buy is a great example of a company who is successful with finding out what people need from each other.  They built an internal community called Blue Shirt Nation, where employees participate and provide feedback and suggestions for improvement.  By doing this, Best Buy is able to focus on several objectives:

  1. Listening:  Best Buy is able to listen to their employees, which leads to problem-solving!  
  2. Talking:  policies and announcements can be posted where everyone can see them!
  3. Energizing:  enthusiastic, positive employees who are empowered and engaged can spread their positive thinking and advice for all Best Buy employees and stores to see!
  4. Supporting:  employees can find the support they need in the Blue Shirt Nation community; around the company and also within their store or district!
  5. Embracing:  the community can be a way to surface both ideas and great talent!

Communities like Blue Shirt Nation are great for meeting the objectives above, however some companies need more than that. That is where wikis come in.

Connections with others contribute greatly to getting us to where we want to be.  Wikis that are created on a company’s Intranet can allow employees to connect with managers and leaders in the organization, as well as create their own pages and blogs and share with others.  Technologies have cut the time spent looking for information and tools from hours or days to minutes!

Imagine there is a merger or acquisition at the company you are working for; in most cases employees are fearful because of uncertainty.  Management can use a wiki to blog about it and encourage employees to ask questions in an open environment.  This leaves employees feeling valued, listened to, and assured.  By creating a collaboration tool, the company has also created a communication channel!

The internal groundswell is about relationships, NOT technology!  So make sure to nurture the groundswell power of your employees and promote a listening culture from the top down.  Ease and encourage participation with incentives and find and empower enthusiastic rebels in your organization.

Trust is imperative with an internal groundswell and the CEO and managers MUST participate or it will fail.  The right culture MUST be in place!  A culture of open communication and collaboration and trust!  People need to WANT to use the wiki or community – they cannot be forced or coerced!

Source: groundswell

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