Many employees regularly propose ideas to their boss, according to a survey by Right Management. One-half (54 per cent) of the survey respondents claim to make 20 or more suggestions each year and another one-quarter (24 per cent) between 10 and 20 suggestions.
“Despite research that indicates workers are disengaged, on the whole they want to be helpful and have their say on issues or problems that arise in the workplace” said Monika Morrow, senior vice-president of career management at Right Management. “We find again and again that employees want to contribute. By making suggestions they demonstrate that they’re thinking about getting the job done, and done well.”
Only 15 per cent of the 500 Canadian and American employees surveyed said they make fewer than 10 suggestions per year and seven per cent said they do not offer any suggestions.
Employers should take advantage of workers’ ideas, said Morrow.
“Of course, the boss has to judge which suggestions are worthwhile, but employee concern or enthusiasm should be encouraged and their willingness to participate in problem solving is the sign of a healthy workplace.”
At a time when many employees feel stifled in their job, it is even more important that employers show that they are listening, said Morrow.
“Make sure employees know they have a voice and a say in what happens at work. Be proactive in seeking their input and sharing ideas. It should be more than a gesture, but a genuine effort to reach out. Tap them for fresh ideas that could improve productivity or customer service.”