A recent survey showed that in these times of economic turmoil, 49% of Canadian chief financial officers have increased the frequency and quality of communications to boost morale in the workplace. That’s a smart move on their part.
As staffing solution experts who speak to hundreds of A level talent weekly, we have the inside track on what it takes to retain great employees. And two-way communications is key.
Nowadays at The Bagg Group, we get calls from people everyday who tell us they are disgruntled because their employers don’t keep them in the loop about what’s going at their company. And many look for other job opportunities because they are frustrated that their employers never solicit their ideas or feedback on how to survive the downturn.
People want to be involved in discussions. To that end, we often consult with top employers in the GTA on how to hold brainstormings that allow people to feel heard and share their expertise. These round-the-table idea sessions go a long way to boosting morale.
Our top clients have all used these following tips with great success:
- Involve employees from all departments in a brainstorming. This energizes staff, increases cross-department cooperation, and generates surprising creative solutions.
- Allow every idea, no matter how seemingly far-fetched. This sparks the imagination and gets people to break away from routine thinking.
- Never say ‘No’, instead ask ‘How?’ A brainstorming session won’t be effective if people are holding back because they fear their ideas will be judged or brushed off.
Hiring authorities have reported to The Bagg Group that often people come up with brilliant project ideas to stimulate sales and employees. But they don’t know how to find the time to carry them out. That’s when these top employers introduce contract workers to either free up staff time or help get the project underway.
Encourage participants to share problem-solving tactics they have used successfully in situations outside the workplace. For example, if departments or members of the same tea aren’t seeing eye-to-eye, ask staff who engage in group sports or play in bands how they increase collaboration in the field or on stage. In this way, participants start to discuss solutins from a different perspective.
Let people talk about the bothersome tasks and activities that de-energize them with a view to finding a way to tackle these in a way that works for everyone. One of our client’s recently reported that a brainstorming session revealed that, post-cutbacks, staff were demoralized by having to do jobs they weren’t hired to do, such as rotate on reception. Together, the team resolved it would be more productive for everyone to engage a temporary worker to work the reception desk.
Not every brainstorming necessarily results in strokes of genius, but the very act of exchanging thoughts in a non-judgmental forum gives everyone a shot of energy. And even small solutions can have big impact. At one client’s office, the hiring authority reported that everyone willingly agreed to allow people to bring in their dog, on a rotating basis. The dogs proved the perfect ice-breaker to increase collaboration between rival departments.