Have you ever worked for a company and spent a large part of your day frustrated by all the things that your boss did or didn’t do? I remember working for a company and watched them make one mistake after the other and I listened to the customers and the other employees complain but I was powerless to do anything about it because management just wouldn’t listen to me, or they listened and I got the standard “I’ll take that into advisement, thanks for stopping by” and I knew damn well when I walked out of the door that it wasn’t ever going to go any further than that conversation. Even as a paid consultant I have been to companies where I went around and talked to the low and mid level employees and the one thing that they all had in common is they all seemed to know what was wrong, and what needed to be done to fix it, but couldn’t get management to listen.
I always swore that when I owned my own company that I would listen to my employees, and I have. Low and mid level employees are usually on the front line, so to speak, of a business; sales and customer service reps deal with the customer every day, they know what the customer is happy about and they know what they are unhappy about, and they know what processes are working and which aren’t, they have first hand information and you should listen to them.
I have found that a good business owner or top brass at a company is one that listens to what his or her employees are saying because the bottom line is your employees know what is going on more than you do. They are dealing with all the issues that a company has every day, you most likely are not, so don’t just nod your head and give them lip service telling them you will look into it, actually look into it.
I have found that those that use their employees as ear pieces tend to be well informed and tend to run a much better organization that those that do not. I am not saying that you should let your employees make the decisions for you, not at all, what I am saying though is you should listen to what they have to say, they have information that you need, listen to them, and take that information and use it intelligently. There is nothing worse than a company with a management team that does not know what is going on; listen to your employees, dissect the information and use it in a way that will make your company stronger and better.