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How To Get Employees To Tell You Their Best Ideas

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Your company has many employees which mean you have access to an unlimited number of the best ideas. But do you ever wonder why they don’t approach you? Despite their numbers, are most of them uninspired? Or is everything just about the status quo and only a few ideas are acknowledged? If you answered yes to any of these questions, it means that your company is just like any other company out there. Luckily, you can change this so that your employees contribute ideas regularly. An atmosphere where ideas can flourish and expressed can help give our company a competitive edge. Here are some tips to follow to get employees to tell their ideas.

Change “Yes but” to “Yes and”

Responding “yes but” to ideas give off a negative vibe. According to Ed Harrington, CEO of Ideas to Go; the “but” kills the best ideas and is akin to closing the door on their face. However, switching to a “yes and” invites further participation. You are essentially telling them to go on and to explore their ideas. It invites more discussion which can help broaden the idea and maybe give it enough lift to let it fly.

Make A List of Good Ideas And How To Make It Better

Encourage employees to make a list and then invite other people to help make it better. Sometimes, employees feel intimidated when talking to their supervisor. Making a list and then inviting other co-workers to help make the idea better is a good way not only to involve the whole team but it can help refine the idea and help it reach the next level. Don’t worry about possible problems that might crop up. Remember that it’s not a list of potential drawbacks or obstacles.

For example, you have an idea on how to lower cost and you post it in a bulletin board. Your coworkers can come up with solutions on how to make this come true. With participation from the whole team, possible drawbacks can be identified and solutions optimized.

Don’t Make Idea Killing Pronouncements

Making pronouncements is not only counterproductive, it is also very arrogant. Leaders and top management who want to take advantage of the creative juice should refrain from making idea killing pronouncement. Instead of making these types of statements, encourage employees to think critically, give them room to explore their ideas, let them think outside the box and always encourage discussions that lead to advancement of ideas. In other words, don’t tell them right away that the idea won’t work. Give ideas proper consideration and room to play out.

Trust Them

One of the reasons why employees don’t have interesting ideas is because they know you don’t trust them enough. This does not only cover creativity but authority too. Managers that trust their employees create an environment where employees know that they are valued. This makes them feel inspired which can lead to creativity and result in the best ideas.

Provide Constructive Feedback

Not all ideas pan out but not acknowledging them can have devastating effects on employees. Employees need encouragement and feedback especially constructive ones. As leaders, you have the responsibility of nurturing employees and not giving them useful feedback can hinder their growth as working individuals. Constructive feedback gives employees new insight, perspective, promotes trust and prevents hurt feelings.

Share Vision

Share your visions and ideas with your employees on a regular basis. This works just like letting employees make a list and inviting people to improve it. When you share your best ideas and visions to your team they get a picture of the direction you want the company to go. Your employees can have ideas that can make your idea better. They can help improve upon your original idea to make it better. When employees have no idea where the ship is going, their thought are unfocused because they are navigating blindly. Sharing your ideas on the other hand could lead to a win-win situation.

Every employee could have something up their sleeve to help make your product or service better. Leadership is not only about steering your ship in the right direction. It is also about acknowledging that they have ideas that you can use to beat the competition.

 

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Business

How Office Design Enhances Productivity

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Did you know that how your workplace design can impact the productivity of your employees? Aside from this, office design also affects employee safety and health. A study by international architectural firm Gensler in the US states that even small workplace designs such as lighting and spatial layout affects employee productivity. So how does environment impact the health, safety and productivity of employees?

Sitting Down

Our work has a big impact on your health. Most of the time employees spend a lot of time on their desks, so they are becoming sedentary. As we all know, sitting down for long periods of time has adverse affects on our health. It makes us gain weight, which in turn can lead to more problems like heart disease and obesity. Getting sick could lead to more days away from work or hospital stays, which could inhibit productivity of the employee.

Designing office spaces that encourages movement or walking can help curb these problems for employees and employers alike. There are workstations that are designed to be used in either sitting or standing position. An open space design also encourages employees to walk from one section of the office to another. Sometimes something as basic as an ergonomically correct chair can help prevent ailments like back aches.

Lighting

Good lighting can help people see details clearly and increased visibility can help increase productivity. But, this does not mean to say that you can skimp on lighting in the office because a 1983 study shows that poor lighting is connected to low production levels and social satisfaction among employees. Many offices are composed of cubicles to give employees privacy to do their work. However, the cubicle arrangement also blocks natural light, which means that some employees are not exposed to natural lighting during an entire work cycle.

Humans are wired to seek natural lighting. In fact, all office workers in Europe must have exposure to natural light. Employees who had the best views were the most productive and were most likely to describe themselves as healthy.

Noise

Acoustics is another key contributing factor to productivity. To achieve acoustic comfort, the office must have appropriate acoustic support that is conducive to interaction, confidentiality and concentrative work. If it is too noisy, workers will not be able to communicate with each other let alone concentrate.

Other Factors

Aside from these factors, employers should also provide workers with suitable ventilation, access to greenery and the gym to help encourage healthy lifestyle. Even something as basic as giving them access to increase or reduce temperature in the office can impact their productivity. Employers should also encourage employees to personalize their workstations so that employees are happier. Work space design should allow employees to socialize with each other easily while at the same time giving them access to views and privacy, so that they can work properly and productively.

Good lighting, comfortable furniture, pleasant color schemes, and access to views or natural lighting can help generate positive energy in the office and employee mood. 79% of UK based employees report that a good working environment is important to their sense of job satisfaction.

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Things To Think About Before Quitting Your Day Job

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If you’re thinking about quitting your day job to go full time as a businessman or freelancer, there are many things you need to consider first. First of all, your job is like a security blanket. Letting go of it might sound adventurous at first, but it also comes with certain risks. Before you result to flipping a coin or removing the petals of a flower, here are some things you need to think about before taking the plunge.

Flexibility

Going into business or freelancing will give you flexibility for better life-work balance. Going to business for yourself will allow you to adjust your schedule so that you don’t feel like you’re chained to your desk the whole day. This is very beneficial, because you can work out your own schedule to fit your lifestyle. If you have children for example, you can be home when they are sick or when they’re home from school. Going into business or freelancing is also a good option for people who like to travel.

Benefits

One of the many reasons why people stick to their day job is the health benefits. This is a big factor to consider should you decide to quit. Health, dental, and retirement benefits can be expensive to put up on your own. Before deciding to stop working, make sure that you can afford to pay for these on your freelancing or business income. Work up a number before you decide to see how many clients you need to sustain paying for insurance on your own. Knowing how much you need will also result in a smoother transition when you leave your job.

Nest Egg

It is also easier to leave your day job if you have your finances in order. If you’re not sure if you can afford it, try to figure out how much you need as an emergency fund to serve as a buffer. This isn’t strictly for emergencies like getting sick. This will serve as funding for daily expenses until your business becomes profitable. One of the best ways to figure this out is to write several business plans to flesh out your ideas. Not only will this allow you to strategize if plan A does not work, it also gives you an idea what you will do using different scenarios.

Your Job Is Failing You

Do you feel yourself stretched too thin or unfulfilled? This might be because your job is failing you and quitting might be the answer. A business or going freelance, on the other hand, will give you time to think about or try new ideas. It will be like breaking out of the 9-5 routine and going on an adventure on uncharted waters. If you feel trapped, quitting and starting a business might just be a good option for you.

Self-Starter

You also need to ask yourself if you’re a self-starter. When you’re in charge of your own schedule, it might be tempting to get up later or to procrastinate starting something. When you don’t have a boss looking down your shoulder, you need to be a self-starter and self-motivator to get yourself going.

Deciding to quit your job to start a business or to go freelance full time is a big decision. Considering the above factors will help you decide if striking it out on your own is a good fit for you. It is also best to remember that you can find another job if it does not work out for you.

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Make The Most Out Of Meetings

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Companies invest lots of time and energy to conduct business meetings. It can be frustrating if the meetings fail to bring the desired result. Meetings can be painfully boring and you may try to avoid it, but with proper steps, you can come out with a winning smile from the conference room.

Be prepared

You are invited to a meeting with a definite purpose. Be prepared to be an active participant in the discussions. Try to know the topic of discussion. Keep your notes ready. Plan how you want to execute your points. The more you do your homework, the more confident you feel about the proposed meeting.

Develop a plan and write a summary

Once you know what you want to accomplish in the meeting, you need to develop a plan to execute it. Write all the major points you want to communicate in the meeting on a paper. Avoid complex language. If you use lucid language, everyone can follow and understand you. If a written summary is ready in your hands, you feel more confident before entering the venue. Be prepared for the questions. Try to answer the questions patiently.

Network

Try to build a network for yourself when you participate in meetings. Arrive early and have some time to get to know the people. Mingle with all the participants of the meeting with some casual conversations. Building a good working relationship with the people outside your team can help you progress in your career.

Smart use of time

It is very important to finish your presentation within the time limit. Do not stretch the duration of the meeting with an unending series of questions and answers. People may not encouragingly listen to you if you extend it too long. Participants should not feel that their time is wasted.

Participate and encourage participation

Most people do not find meetings engaging enough. They either play with their phones or whisper within themselves. You can impress everyone with your listening skills. Do not distract yourself from the discussions. Ask appropriate questions after each of the presentations at the meeting. When you present, try to maintain eye contact with the participants. Appreciate when they ask you good questions. You can add some variety in the stiff environment of the meeting by arranging some creative games in-between.

Learn from the past

If you have been to business meetings before, you already have a clue how to go on with your idea. Learn from the mistakes you made before. If this the first time you are participating in a meeting, get some information from your team or review the past presentations made by your seniors.

Time to shine

When you are invited to an important meeting, make the most of it. Do not be apprehensive. Take it as a chance to show your potential as an employee. Your seniors will appreciate your efforts when you prepare yourself hard for the event. When you participate actively in the discussions and ask intelligent questions, you get a chance to impress your colleagues.

 

Meetings are a part of the modern corporate world. You cannot afford to miss all the meetings. If you can prepare yourself well for the meeting, you feel more positive and confident.

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