In an ever-changing business environment, managers need to generate ideas from employees on how to meet customers’ needs, achieve the team’s goals, and make change happen.
To encourage team members to offer new ideas, managers should consider their willingness to listen to the ideas of others. To that end, ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you as excited about other people’s ideas as you are your own?
- Do your employees feel free to come to you with suggestions for creating new products, saving operating expenses, or improving customer service?
- Can procedures be changed when circumstances warrant?
- Are employees recognized for taking risks even when their efforts fail?
- Are mistakes truly seen as training opportunities?
- Do you believe in the ability of your employees to be successful at what they attempt?
- Do you look for reasons to say yes to employees’ ideas before you think of reasons to say no?
- Over the past year, have team members taken over any of your former responsibilities?
- Do you give feedback to employees and encourage them to come up with solutions to business problems?
- Do you share information on new developments and review organizational basics such as values, goals, the vision, and the financial situation?
The answers to these questions can help you gauge how open you are to employees’ ideas—and make any adjustments needed to encourage suggestions from your team.
To generate the best ideas, you need to stimulate strategic thinking in yourself and your team. Learn how to build your strategic thinking skills—and help move your business forward.