Your Employees Could Be A Gold Mine.
Extract The Gold Dust Buried Within To Grow Your Business.
Are You Getting The Most From Your Employees?
I expect you have never thought of your employees as a Gold Mine?
But your employees could be a gold mine.
Buried within your Gold Mine could be tons of valuable Gold Dust which, if extracted right, could be used to grow your business, your sales and your profits.
But, as any good miner will tell you – you must open up the mine in order for it to give up its riches.
I Want To Share Two Methods To Grow Your Business.
In all my businesses, I have always thought of my employees as Gold Mines and I have often used TWO METHODS to open this mine to yield the Gold Dust contained within.
If you employ people within your business, you must think to use the same TWO METHODS to extract your own Gold Dust.
Two methods that, if used right, should boost your business, your sales and profits.
But first I want to ask you a question.
You might be the boss of your business and quite possibly the founder, but do you understand your business better than your employees?
I expect you might well answer “yes”
But is that really the right answer?
I would suggest the answer should really be “No”
As the person running the business, it is quite likely that your culture and your philosophy is stamped onto it.
It might even be an extension of you and your personality.
But, in my experience, business owners can become ‘blinkered’ and short sighted about their businesses, seeing their businesses only through their own eyes.
In many ways this can be of benefit to the business but not always.
Others Could See Your Business Differently
Others within your business could well see your business differently to how you see it.
Your employees, for instance, will be able to observe you within your business and how you run your business, and they will quite possibly see things differently to how you see yourself and your business.
Have You Asked Your Employees What They Think
But have you ever asked your employees what they think of your business?
Quite possibly your answer will be “No”
In my experience, very few business owners have done this – especially owners of small businesses.
Many don’t think that the opinions of their employees are valid and appropriate, and some owners are even frightened to ask, as they are fearful of what will be said.
The Most Important Opinions Are Those Of Your Customers
The most important opinions are, however, those of your customer; these determine whether a customer buys from you or not.
But how well do you know and understand the views of your customers?
Again, quite possibly, the answer could be “No”, again, if you answer honestly.
In my experience, most business owners could improve their understanding greatly.
Most Owners Would Learn Much By Asking Their Employees
Most employers would learn much by asking the opinions of their employees.
Your employees are nearer to the ‘coal face’ than you are.
Many would have direct contact with your customers and would almost certainly have better contact with your customers than you do.
They will consequently understand the needs, wishes, desires and views of your customers well.
You Need To Know The Views Of Your Employees & Customers
When you ask your employees for their comments, you will not just get your employees’ views but, almost certainly, you will get the views of many of your customers, too.
By asking your employees, you will could get views from two important and valid sources.
These views will be Gold Dust to you.
These views and opinions would definitely be something you should know about, if you are to keep growing your business success.
These will be the equivalent of Gold Dust, giving you the knowledge to improve your business and the opportunity to increase your sales and profits.
With Gold Dust in mind, let me share two methods with you that I have often used to obtain this Gold Dust contained within my Gold Mine.
Method 1 involves primarily the personal views of your employees
Method 2 should involve a combination of both employee and customer views
Method 1 involves periodically asking each employee individually a number of questions to gauge how they are thinking about their position and their job within your business and what they are thinking about your business as a whole.
Here are some questions that I have asked in the past and which have always created some good interaction:
Which part of your job do you like best?
Which part of your job do you like least?
How could your job be improved?
How could you become more effective and more productive in your job?
What ambitions do you have within the business?
How long do you plan to be employed within the business?
Do you feel you have been trained right for your role within the business?
What training would you like to improve your skills?
Do you feel your skills are being best used within the business?
What qualifications would you like to acquire within the business?
Do you feel the team within the business runs as a team?
How do you feel the team could work better?
Do you feel the leadership provides the right leadership?
Do you feel inspired and motivated by the leadership?
Do you feel encouraged and motivated to keep improving yourself within the business?
Do you feel you can easily talk to the business leaders?
Do you feel you can suggest ideas that would benefit the business?
Do you feel you are listened to by the business leaders?
Do you feel that your ideas are used within the business to grow it?
Do you feel appreciated by the business leaders?
Suggest three ways to improve the business
You could ask all or some of these questions and, quite possibly, you could think of your own, as appropriate to your business organisation.
It is good practice to issue a version of this questionnaire to your employees once a year.
With the answers in, you can either review the findings individually or collectively in a group or both.
I have done both and I have always learned much from the process and, indeed, have my employees, too.
The Process Can Be Stimulating & Invigorating
I have always found the whole process very stimulating and invigorating, for myself, and I know for certain for everyone else involved within the business, too.
Every time that I performed this exercise, the business and the team always benefited greatly.
The second method involves asking a separate set of questions that could provide you with a good insight into how your employees think your business can be improved.
Remember earlier, I said that your employees are at the ‘coal face’ of your business and are probably closer to your customers than you are.
Again, with your Gold Dust in mind, you could ask the following questions:
How do you think the business could be run better?
What do customers say about our products?
Suggest three ways to improve our products or services?
Could you suggest products or service that we could offer but presently don’t?
Could you suggest products that have been requested by our customers?
What do customers say about our customer service?
Could you suggest three ways to improve our customer service?
What do customers say about our customer experience?
Could you suggest three ways to improve the customer experience?
What do customers say about our pricing?
What is your view on our pricing?
Could you suggest three ways to improve customer contact?
Could you suggest three ways that we could improve any aspect of our business?
This is a generic list of questions that you could ask your employees and, again, you could probably think of others, appropriate to your business organisation.
The best process is to ask questions that are specific to your business and your products.
For method 2, I have found the best approach is to ask just 1 or 2 questions only at a time to get the best response and the best ideas.
Asking just one or two questions is a good way, as it achieves the best engagement from the employees and it reinforces their focus.
Discuss Ideas As A Group
I also found that when discussed as a group, a good dialogue and good ideas evolved – better than when discussed individually.
One note of caution here, though, the more reserved employees often made the less contribution to the process but often presented some of the best ideas.
Both Methods Can Yield Good Ideas
I have always found both methods to be very informative and I have always found the suggestions and ideas from my employees very constructive, very useful and, when implemented right, have made a great contribution to the growth of the business.
Employees Like To Feel Valued
Most employees like to feel valued and they like to feel part of the business and part of the decision making.
The process involving these two methods nearly always creates other additional business benefits, worth mentioning here, too:
Employees feel their voice is being heard
Employee loyalty can be enhanced
The business team can become closer with a stronger tie
The owner/employee bond can become strengthened
The company culture can be reinforced
Many employees also like to be able to excel in their roles and this process can give them the inspiration and opportunity to do this.
You Will Certainly Receive Some Good Ideas
Almost certainly, you will receive some good ideas and suggestions and you could be surprised by the quality of these.
You should always implement the best ideas suggested as this will make your employees feel the process is working. If you do not use their ideas, you do risk de-motivating your employees.
Let Your Employees Take Ownership
When a certain employee suggests something good, give them ownership of the idea and the role and responsibility to introduce the idea into the business with your support and encouragement.
In my experience, employees are often very keen to take and perform this role and I have often been surprised by the level of motivation and confidence created, correspondingly.
You May Not Like Some Of The Truth
At first, you might well learn some uncomfortable truths about yourself and your business but it is important not to take these personally but to accept them in the spirit that they are offered.
Most Employees Want To See Their Business Flourish
In my experience, most employees wish to help to improve the business that they work for and to help grow it and to feel inspired and motivated within their roles within the business.
Open Your Gold Mine & Extract The Gold Dust
I guarantee if you use these two methods right, you will become the proud owner of a very fruitful Gold Mine, yielding much Gold Dust, with which, you should be able to grow your business.